Coffee, chocolate, tea – and help the poor

Are you a coffee drinker? Or a chocolate lover? Maybe you like your tea at 3 p.m.?

Think about enjoying your favorite treat and helping the poor at the same time.

That is what fair trade is all about. And that’s the mission of Trade as One. It’s a company promoting fair trade products to alleviate world poverty.

I didn’t get this concept at first. I’ve heard too much about for-profit businesses hurting the poor. You’ve heard the stories of sweat shops or corporations dumping toxic chemicals in slums.

But Trade as One was created to help stop this abuse—and to bring the goods from fair trade producers to consumers, like you and me.

Then, instead of buying from companies that underpay the poor or have them work in horrible conditions, we can support producers that give the poor steady work and treat them with respect.

And Food for the Hungry and Trade as One are partnering to help the poor. But more on this in a few paragraphs. First, let’s tackle the following question.

What is fair trade really about?


I’ve heard the words “fair trade” thrown around for years. This is a fair trade coffee shop. This is a fair trade clothing store.

So if you were like me and didn’t fully understand the meaning of fair trade, it means creating jobs for people who are often overlooked when creating commerce.

Fair trade producers hire impoverished people, pay appropriate wages and provide healthy work conditions. You can learn more about the rules of fair trade here.


Trade as One subscription


Trade as One showcases and sells fair trade products to consumers. And that’s great – but what do they really offer that I might actually want or need?

Well, surprisingly, there is a tasty list of food products, like sun-dried tomato caper spread and other standbys like olive oil, coffee, sugar and chocolate. They also have non-food items like shea and cocoa butter lip balm and virgin coconut hydrating body lotion.

And the process is easy: 1. You place your order for fair trade items. 2. Your order is sent to you in a box once every three months.

No running around to stores to get soap, sugar or coffee…it’s sent to your house. It’s convenient.


How Trade as One helps FH

As much as Trade as One is helping the poor through fair trade—they are also giving a percentage of their profits to Food for the Hungry.

So far the money they’ve donated to FH has provided approximately 9,000 pounds of black bean seeds to families who live with daily hunger in Guatemala. The money donated also helped FH train these Guatemalan families how to farm and irrigate, so they can get the most out of their crops.

The 9,000 pounds of seed can produce a harvest of more than 135,000 pounds of black beans for food. That amount of food could feed nearly 1,600 people for one year. So those people who lived with daily hunger, now have food.


Hungry for Change

Trade as One also has the Hungry for Change fast. This is a five-day fast that has you live on the amount of food that a person making $2 a day would eat. The kit comes with rice, beans and oats made from fair trade producers. There is also an instruction booklet and daily emails to encourage and help you understand God’s heart for the poor.

It’s an interesting fast. And it can be used for a group of friends or a church to do together. It can also be used as a fundraising project. Each kit costs $25.

In addition, Trade as One will donate $5 to FH for every Hungry for Change kit purchased. So again, it’s that unique partnership of having your money help the poor in all kinds of ways.

If you can’t already tell…I’m kind of crazy for this company. First, they have chocolate that I can buy and feel good about. Second, they are making it easy for me to do what’s right. I appreciate that. I hope you’ll check them out. And I hope you’ll continue to do the little things you do each day to help the world become a better place.

About Renee Targos

Renee is a former journalist and editor for national arts and business publications. As a writer for Food for the Hungry, Renee explores and reports on the work and relationships of partners, FH staff and impoverished communities.

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