Fair Trade Coffee and Tea
The congregation’s Care for Creation Team is taking steps to provide Fair Trade coffee and tea for the Sunday Fellowship period and for a variety of other church occasions when hot beverages are served.
This use of Fair Trade coffee and tea (to begin in January) is one of 12 new steps that will qualify our church to be designated a “Green Congregation” in the United Church of Christ’s comprehensive environmental initiative. In taking this step, our church will join several nearby congregations that have long been enthusiastic users of Fair Trade products (including Church of the Holy Spirit and St. Peter’s Lutheran).
A distinguishing feature of Fair Trade beverages is that they originate from small farmers in Third World countries; working through local cooperatives, they grow and harvest their own coffee and tea plants using environmentally-sound measures. They are further able to keep costs down by avoiding a complex distribution and marketing system. Our Fair Trade provider will be a Massachusetts-based organization called Equal Exchange; it works with many churches and other consumers across the country (learn more about them at equalexchange.coop).
Costs for our new coffee and tea will run approximately the same as comparable brands in local stores. After one year, our Fair Trade practices will be evaluated and any needed adjustments made.
So remember: When we enjoy our Fair Trade coffee and tea, we shall be helping small farmers around the world and, at the same time, helping protect our Earth home.