Happy National Coffee Day! Coffee is a commodity that millions of people cannot imagine living without. It is a pick-me-up for office workers and tired parents, a focal point of social gatherings, and an ingredient offering a wide range of culinary applications.
While coffee’s popularity has exploded over the past several centuries, the industry has simultaneously fallen victim to many pitfalls of capitalism; most companies favor mass production over high-quality beans, decent ethics, and the environment. But as a consumer, you can vote for a more sustainable structure.
Whether you prefer a cappuccino or a latte, light roast or dark roast, instant powder or a bag of beans, there are three main labels you should look for on your daily energy boost.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified: This label helps ensure that products adhere to high social, economic, and environmental standards. In the case of coffee, that often looks like farmers growing their plants in shady regions and maintaining transparent record-keeping of their practices.
- USDA Organic: Non-organic coffee is usually laden with chemicals, while organic coffee is regulated to protect the health of consumers, farmers, and the environment. Many people also say that organic coffee tastes better!
- Fair Trade: More than 25 million smallholder farmers support our coffee obsession, but unfortunately, many of those farmers struggle to make ends meet. This is especially true when notoriously volatile coffee prices take a nosedive. When you opt for Fairtrade coffee, you help support a system in which farmers are paid more.
Ready to make a difference? Celebrate National Coffee Day by purchasing from a brand you can trust; we have a list to get you started here!