We love a cup of coffee in the morning and we know that, in America at least, there are millions more like us that get a quick hit of caffeine before launching themselves into the day.
The trouble is that though we love coffee – there’s a dark side to the coffee trade and it’s one that no-one should be supporting particularly when there are alternatives.
Child slavery. That’s the problem.
Millions of kids around the world are forced to work on coffee plantations rather than going to school.
That’s why you need to switch and everyone needs to switch to fair trade coffee which is guaranteed slavery-free and child-free.
And the good news is there’s a lot of choice as these fair trade coffee brands reveal.
BLK + Bold
Des Moines’ finest coffee is from BLK + Bold and everything they produce is fully certified fair trade.
We particularly like the fair trade certified Ethiopian blend that we tried. There’s a hint of milk chocolate in the taste of the coffee beans that we could really get accustomed to. It’s also delightful as a cold brew.
They then plough their profits back into youth-focused initiatives in their community.
They also have a coffee subscription service if you hate the thought of running out of coffee.
You can buy BLK + Bold whole bean coffee from their website.
Higher Ground Roasters
100% organic, completely fair trade and shade grown this is a company that seeks out the best coffee beans around the world and then brings them to your doorstep from various coffee producers with fair trade certifications.
Their profits then go into making the world an even better place as they partner with many eco-friendly charities too. We also like that this is an organic coffee product with a focus on sustainable coffee growing practices.
Environmental and humanitarian efforts go hand in hand here and that’s got to be good for the coffee economy in general, right?
Coffee drinkers can buy Higher Ground Roasters coffee from their website.
Doma is a cooperative coffees venture that makes the coffee farmers the star of their brand.
Every pack you buy comes with the story of your coffee’s heritage and relationship with the earth. We love their dark roast shade grown coffee and it guarantees a minimum price paid to the growers.
They also have pledged to use an eco-friendly, low-polluting roasting and coffee production process. And as you’d expect their fair trade certification is in place too.
You can buy Doma Coffee from their website.
Rise Up Coffee Roasters
Tom Cureton did a stint in the Peace Corp and was so inspired by what he saw that he decided it was time to open up an ethical and organic coffee service.
He started out of the back of a single truck and today, he employs more than a hundred people!
Their product is completely organic as well as fair trade certified coffee. That means the coffee producers are always producing ethical bean coffee and getting an equal exchange, financially, for their labor.
If you’re ever passing through Maryland, you’re welcome to drop in and see how things are done at Rise Up too.
You can buy Rise Up Coffee Roasters coffee from their website.
Another cooperative venture Larry’s is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and they bring boundless energy to the ethical coffee business and to make the world a better place.
As with many other brands on our list – they’re fully organic fair trade too.
You can buy Larry’s Coffee from their website.
Allegro’s plain and bold packaging lets the coffee speak for itself. They’re 100% organic and very passionate about no toxic chemicals coming into contact with their coffee at any point of the production cycle.
They believe in fair pay and conditions for all their workers and they make one of the finest artisan coffees that we’ve ever tasted too.
You can buy Allegro Coffee from their website.
Salt Spring Coffee
Hailing from British Colombia this family-owned coffee company are members of the Fair for Life scheme which means that at every single stage of the supply chain all workers must enjoy a fair wage and decent working conditions.
This, they say, brings about the best coffee products even more so than shade grown certification or the use of swiss water process does.
The coffee is absolutely excellent too and your purchase helps to drive other eco-initiatives. Their medium roast is often our morning cup of certified fair trade coffee.
You can buy Salt Spring Coffee from their website.
Wonderstate used to be called Kickappo and their coffee is always grown by farmers that they know personally.
They refuse to work with middlemen, instead, they rely on the relationships they build with growers to bring you a better tasting cup of coffee, and as far as we can tell that works brilliantly!
They spend at least some part of each year visiting with every grower and making sure that things are exactly as they should be so that you can be sure of an ethical cup.
You can buy Wonderstate Coffee from their website.
Conscious coffees, a certified B-corp, only buy coffee from small family farms that work as a group of cooperatives.
They have excellent direct trade relationships with growers and with their customers too.
They’re big believers in educating people about the value of quality coffee and fair trade in general.
They also always credit the farmer for their contribution to the great tasting product you enjoy.
You can buy their coffee from their website safe in the knowledge that it was produced in ethical working conditions.
If you want an award-winning coffee then look no farther than Café Direct with 30 Great Taste Awards under their belt!
They only deal with farmers that they meet with regularly face-to-face and they are fully fair trade certified.
Their farmers are also shareholders in their main business which gives them an extra incentive to succeed! Nice.
You can buy Café Direct coffee from their website.
Last Word on Fair Trade Coffee
Nobody supports child slavery but by buying coffee of an uncertain provenance, you may, accidentally, be doing just that.
Making the switch to fair trade coffee only takes a moment and there are so many choices of tasty, ethical brands that it’s very easy to find something you like.
We hope that our top 10 best fair trade coffee brands has inspired you to make a change that can make a real difference in the world we live in.
We recommend that everyone moves to ethical brands in their life wherever possible and we recommend that you check out our picks for the top organic coconut oils and our choices for the best fair trade chocolate brands so that you can keep making the world a better place from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy!