Politics and Fair Trade, Politicians could Learn

Posted on October 20, 2012. Filed under: Blogroll, General | Tags: , , |

Fair trade in the world today is unbalanced. It comes down to consumer to be the ones to support the companies that ensure the practice takes place without political agendas or even backstabbing. In the month of October, which is designated Fair Trade Month a favorite company of mine which makes some nice coffee’s; Green Mountain Coffee teamed up musicians Grace Potter and Michael Franti to take them to Fair Trade farming communities in Columbia and Sumatra. It is from these communities that produce the Green Mountain Coffee beans that eventually find their way into bags of coffee, and the K-Cups.

In the coffee world that I have experienced, there are the blah coffees, the coffee that should have never left the roaster factory, and then there are the enjoyable ones. I have tried the Starbuck’s and honestly it is overrated, expensive and still no matter how you purchase it; in the bag, K-Cup, Pod what have you. It still has that burnt taste and is too overpriced. As a comparison, I can usually get 18 K-Cups of Green Mountain Coffee which supports Fair Trade and returns benefits to the farmers that are their suppliers by giving them fair prices, ensure that the working conditions are adequate and if not works to improve them while protecting the environment and adding in getting new roads, schools, health clinics and of course much needed safe drinking water.

I have not seen that much in support from Starbucks for such projects and frankly which I can get only 15 K-Cup’s that cost as much as $3 more even with a rare coupons, I end up selecting the Green Mountain Coffees for their prices even without coupons and their broader availability is stores. You can get both coffees in the bags, ground or bean but storing them over the long term could be an issue unlike K-Cups; which you can store on the nifty storage racks and rotate to select the particular K-Cup you would want for that day. The worst place to store coffee is in fact in the refrigerator, as with any bagged or canned product long term storage inside can result in what I call the “cold brew” by the build-up of moister inside no matter what brand. I found the bitter and burned aftertaste even stronger in the Starbuck brand of coffee over the long even with beans ungrounded it resulted in significant increase of bitterness from the build-up of moister.

Going back to Green Mountain Coffee and its support of Fair Trade, politicians could use their program as a learning tool and a way to help others who could be encouraged by such a program to offer their wares and get the fair market prices that they deserve and not undercut by profiteering and greedy companies driven by the bottom line. Balancing out trade and removing harmful tariffs could help the overall world market no matter the product that a consumer uses. When the prices balance, the profit sharing utilized properly; people can enjoy life styles of their choosing.

I am of course a coffee guy who has had the chance the experience the various styles of coffee around the world and even how they are brewed; though honestly the one place I never got to was Japan which has some rather nifty coffee brewing systems like a siphon vacuum system that would take a rather lengthy period just to describe its operation, to a stoneware brewer which uses a simplified hot water system which instead of being automated, you become the one who pours the hot water from the tea kettle.

Remember those percolators? The ones on the stove tops and yes in the camp fires of old, I still have a pair. I used one in a camper that is now long gone and the other my late father used when he fixed the coffee. I still use it from time to time and yes even in a taste test I still find that the Green Mountain Coffee is still better that the Starbucks whether it is freshly ground or already ground. I like consistent tastes and flavors, that give satisfaction and easy on the wallet. As for the vacuum coffee system, I eye balled the price for one of those fancy machines and decided that unless it was street legal and could be driven; it was really out of the budget.

Now before I go, I wanted to pass on a coupon offer for Green Mountain Coffee that includes some nifty coupons that can be found on Face Book. https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee/app_123707314444061

The link I provided also provides more back ground on the Fair Trade Practices supported by Green Mountain Coffee and features Grace Potter as she tours several villages’ involved in this wonderful program.

Have a great day.

Stephen E Sauls

Chamblee, GA USA


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