We at Cafe Virtuoso often get asked about our social responsibility.  We support several programs which document traceability of socially responsible business practices (RainForest Alliance, Women’s Alliance, SMBC…etc).  Fair Trade comprises about 80% of our purchased coffees and we are always looking to add more including teas.

But what is Fair Trade? As defined by Fair Trade USA, “Enabling sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth.” Fair Trade USA is able to keep everything certified by transparency. They record all the steps needed to ensure all those involved in getting your coffee, tea, chocolate, fruits and various other products, including apparel to you while providing everyone involved a fair living wage. The Fair Trade model seeks to benefit the communities where products come from by eliminating child laborers, building schools, family clinics and encouraging the cooperatives to set up democratic structures. They are also encouraged to grow alternative crops or start secondary businesses to further be self sufficient.  Coffee in particular offers a unique opportunity for change, given that it is the second largest (legally) traded commodity in the world – second only to oil.

Who would have thought that all this good could come from a cup of coffee or tea? We at Cafe Virtuoso do and encourage you to become a conscious consumer too! Remember that all this is possible if you look for your Fair Trade certified products. For more information on Fair Trade, please go to fairtradeusa.org and look for a provider near you.

Thanks from all of us at Cafe Virtuoso Steve, Laurie, Mike, Marta, Chad and Rigo.