When Local isn’t an Option, choose Fair Trade

The local food movement is gaining popularity, and with good reason. Globalization has created a world where we don’t know what comes from where, or who makes any of the products we consume. In fact, the World Footprint Network estimates that to meet the current rate of global production, consumption and waste absorption, we need 1.5 earths. Essentially, we’re using more resources than the earth has to give.

This is where the local food movement– a collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies– and the Fair Trade movement become teammates.

The local food movement rebels against massed produced, genetically modified, highly processed foods. These foods are unhealthy, come from unknown sources, and create obscene profits for 10 or so public corporations that control our food supply. Supporters of the local food movement want intimacy with trusted suppliers, to know their stories and to feel part of a movement that is making the world a better place.

We couldn’t agree more, and that’s why the local food movement and the fair trade movement are actually a part of the same movement. Americans cannot “buy local” for coffee, tea, rice, sugar, quinoa, or chocolate that Coffee Rumors provides, and the Fair Trade movement provides the transparency and intimacy in our food supplies that people are looking for.

Take for example our producer, Alter Eco. They work with cooperatives around the world producing various kinds of rice and quinoa, as well as sugar and cocoa– all products that do not grow local in the US. They tell you which cooperatives around the world make their products, and encourage their consumers to connect and read the stories of the farmers behind them. Alter Eco recently received the best B-Corp award for being in the top 10% of all B-Corps for their overall social and environmental impact, and several news agencies–like The Guardian and NPR– are supporters of Alter Eco for those same reasons. Meanwhile, it becomes obvious, that the ideals that are important to the local food movement– transparency, honesty, non-GMO, and organic foods– are just as important to us. Together, we can create a world where our food is transparent, sustainable, and real.