Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fair Trade Organic Coffee

I decided to sign up to be the coffee-maker at church. I must confess that I had a few hidden motives...for a while now I have been promoting fair trade and organic products, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to stand up for something I believe in. So I wrote these little blurbs and posted them beside the coffee stand.


We have chosen to serve fair trade coffee because we believe it is an issue of social justice that is close to God’s heart. We can not blindly consume without considering the consequences our consumption plays on others. Coffee beans come from all over the world, most coming from third world countries. When coffee has not been labeled fair trade, one can assume that it’s production was produced in unethical manners. Unfair prices paid, unrealistic working hours, child labor, abuse, etc. When we truly think of the origin of our consumption, we can see that everything we buy has an effect on the whole of mankind. If we support fair trade companies and workers, we are supporting fair, just and loving ways of employing and empowering people to make a living. We make a statement that we care about the realities of the people who made our coffee. Although it is easy to detach ourselves from the results and reality of our consumption and our indirect support of unfair practices, I boldly suggest that we are enslaving people, including children, when we make unethical purchases. Although fair trade products are often higher in price, I’d like to draw attention to the true cost of a cheaper product. Jesus speaks loudly throughout the Bible on the way we ought to treat others, “love your neighbor as yourself”, are we loving our neighbor if we are blindly supporting their enslavement? But we have options, we don’t have to make unreflective decisions, there are companies that offer fair trade alternatives. We can mindfully purchase without causing harm to workers. This is why, as a church, we feel it essential we serve fair trade coffee.
Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the
rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the
rights of the poor and needy
Isaiah 58:1-8 You wonder why God is not listening to you? Share your food with everyone who is hungry, your home with the poor and homeless, clothes to those in need. Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly, free those who are abused. You think only of yourselves and abuse your workers.


We believe that God created the earth and everything in it. We also believe that God left us with a responsibility to care for this earth in a way that would sustain it and not harm it. Organic means grown without pesticides or harmful products, not only is this responsible to the earth but it is responsible to our bodies. When it is available, we can make a statement of choosing organic and thus owning responsibility to care for our earth. 


  1. I love the new look, makes me want to change my blog look... soon! And I see you got the music going. I love this post and the verses you included.

  2. If Canada grew all organic there would be only half as much food produced since it takes twice as much land to grow organic....which would mean that we wouldn't be able to send as much food as we do to other poorer countries...we wouldn't have it to give and it wouldn't last in transport. Have you ever visited a farm or talked to a farmer to get his view point? Found out the struggles and all the legislation that comes with farming. What is "truely organic"? Just because it says it is organic doesn't mean it is "truely" organic. Besides if I purchased only organic for my family, we would go hungry because I can't afford it. I appreciate your ideals and encourage you to keep preaching it but please be careful not to look down on or condemn those who can't follow what you are suggesting. Thank-you!

  3. Becka, I appreciate you standing up for what you believe in, and I agree that we need to be careful consumers. I sometimes wonder how we can trust that something is "ethical" just because of a label on a package-but I think we just do the best we can with what we know right?

    At least you are willing to put your name to what you believe - unlike "Anonymous".

  4. I don't mind if people don't agree. I have researched ethical food and for myself have some to the conclusion that organic and local, as much as possible, is best. IF you would like some info, you can check out

    I know that taking bold stands, makes people unpopular...and I knew I would have to defend my case, so no hard feelings.

    But I urge "anonymous" to look at the benefits, maybe a little more land may be required but I think the positive outcomes outweigh this issue.

    Organic farms do not consume or release synthetic pesticides into the environment—some of which have the potential to harm soil, water and local terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.

    Organic farms are better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems, i.e., populations of plants and insects, as well as animals.

    When calculated either per unit area or per unit of yield, organic farms use less energy and produce less waste, e.g., waste such as packaging materials for chemicals

    Thank you for your comments!

  5. oh and Denise, I totally agree with you! not everything is as it appears, but we just have to do our best! Educating ourselves is the best way to ensure we are making wise choices. I don't know everything but I feel it is a worthwhile cause to dig into! We can only hope that the labels are reflective of what is in the package!

  6. Also Anonymous, I am very sorry if you felt condemned by my post. I was merely explaining why our church has decided to serve organic coffee. I was in no way implying that people were not respecting the earth if they didnt buy everything organic. I was merely drawing attention to the importance to look at the impact our purchases make on people and the environment. I could not live up to this standard. Most of my food is not organic, but when faced with an opportunity to make a choice of organic or not, I will choose organic. I am slowly "making over" my houses' diet. Also if you looked into it, there are organic products that are the same price or cheaper than the alternative. For instance, Costco offers a wide variety of organic and fair trade products (this is where I get the coffee for our church). I used to buy quinoa at superstore for $14 until I found organic quinoa for $8 at costco and the bag was more than twice the size. The point is, you can make small changes that make large impacts on our earth. You don't have to do everything at once, even one purchase a week makes a difference. Again, I am sorry for coming across as condemning. I find that bold stands often make people feel this way, intended or not.