This summer, when you pack your picnic basket, in addition to lots of fresh local and organic fruits and veggies, there are growing numbers of Fair Trade goodies you can share with friends on a sunny summer afternoon.
For planning the perfect green and Fair Trade picnic, here are some tips on finding products that help workers and farmers build a better life for their families and communities around the world.
If you don’t see the products below in your local supermarket or food cooperative, please ask for them. You can also follow the links to Fair Trade companies in our Green Business Network™ who sell online, and find more options in our National Green Pages®.
1. Sodas and Iced Tea
Maine Root sells bottled soda-pop sweetened with Fair Trade sugar, and Honest Tea sells bottled Fair Trade tea. Or brew your own, and choose reuseable containers; dozens of Green Pages companies sell loose tea: Equal Exchange, Numi Tea, Rishi Tea, SerendipiTea, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, and more.
2. Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s uses Fair Trade ingredients like sugar, cocoa, coffee, and vanilla in several of their popular ice cream flavors.
With much of the US-produced sugar supply tainted by GMOs, for baking picnic treats, consider sugar from Fair Trade farmers. Find sugar from Paraguay from Dean’s Beans, and sugar from the Philippines from Alter-Eco. Simply Organic offers baking mixes — for brownies, cookies, and more — that include Fair Trade sugar or cocoa.
When you’re spicing up your picnic creations, find Fair Trade spices and seasonings from companies like Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Silk Road Spices, and Mountain Rose Herbs, including vanilla, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, white and black pepper, and more.
5. Rice and Quinoa
Consider side dishes made with Fair Trade rice from the cooperatives of rural Thailand. Alter-Eco offers four kinds of rice, along with four kinds of Fair Trade quinoa. Andean Naturals (a business funded by New Resource Bank, another member of our business network) offers a wide selection of Fair Trade quinoa from Bolivia. (Join our “Break Up With Your Mega-Bank” campaign to help finance more businesses like Andean Naturals!)
6. Tropical Fruits
Look for the Fair Trade label in your supermarket or food cooperative. Fair Trade tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and bananas do exist, but they’re harder to find than some other Fair Trade commodities. If you can’t find them near you, you can direct food store managers to Fair Trade USA for more information on how to stock these products.
Finish off your picnic with summery s’mores made with Fair Trade chocolate. Find chocolate companies in our National Green Pages, and check out the “We Want More From Our S’Mores” campaign hosted by our allies at Global Exchange. They’ll link you Fair Trade chocolate companies and fun summer actions you can take to strengthen the Fair Trade movement.
Please share this list with everybody you know who cares about Fair Trade, and have a great time assembling the perfect Fair Trade picnic.
Look for the Labels:
There are various marks to identify Fair Trade Products. Fair Trade USA recently updated their label. You’ll still see the old label (above, right) on supermarket shelves, as the new label ( left) rolls out.