fair_trade.JPGHow much thought do you give to the origins of your daily dose of java? Not the origin of the purchase (mega-chain vs. local joint), but the origin of the beans themselves. And not just country of origin, but the labor and trade practices of the growers and workers who got those beans to you, no matter where they end up. Many of us don't think about this, but the owners of Vox Pop, a coffeeshop in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, proudly trumpet the fair trade origins or their coffee varieties, and the customers are rolling in.

But what does fair trade mean, exactly? The New York Times explains: "In general, the fair trade label means that farmers of crops like coffee or cocoa in the third world, or workers who stitch T-shirts in factories abroad, are paid fairly. The label is intended as a guide for socially conscious consumers in rich countries when buying goods that originate primarily in Latin America, Asia and Africa." Vox Pop and others like Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope aim to raise the consumer's awareness of the trade practices behind the cup. The fair trade movement is gaining popularity, with fair trade businesses growing exponentially. With each cup of coffee, the customer feels that he or she is contributing to better trade practices. So the next time you grab that cup of joe, find out a little more about it.

Vox Pop
1022 Cortelyou Rd.

Gorilla Coffee
97 5th Ave.