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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Organic & Fair Trade Coffee


It’s effortless to save the world by drinking
organic, Fair Trade coffee. Photo by
Ermek | IST.


With coffee emporia nearly everywhere you look—cafés and shops that sell beans—you’d think that coffee was a hot growth category. Yet the annual growth rate of conventional coffee between 2000 and 2008 was just 1.5%. Organic coffee imports experienced a 29% annual average growth rate during the same period, and Fair Trade® coffee, 35%. Last year, the amount of organic coffee imported into the United States increased 12%, and Fair Trade coffee increased 30%, despite the worst economy in 70 years and the premium prices that both command.

You’d think this would be great news, but just 0.6% of the coffee sold in the major consuming countries is organic certified, and even less is Fair Trade certified.

In honor of National Fair Trade Month, we’ve reviewed some of our favorite organic and Fair Trade coffees. Agricultural products can be organic and Fair Trade, organic or Fair Trade (obviously, the vast majority of foods are neither). What do these terms mean? In brief:

  • Organic farming and products help the environment and mankind by refraining from use of chemical pesticides and by conserving the land for wildlife, by soil conservation and reforesting.
  • Fair Trade practices and products help the farmers by guaranteeing them fair payment for their crops. This enables them to provide education and medical care for their families, among other basic human needs.

  • Yet of the $18 billion spent on coffee in the U.S. last year, the tiniest fraction went to organic and Fair Trade coffee. You can make a difference while enjoying an excellent cup of java.

  • Discover delicious organic & Fair Trade coffee beans sourced and roasted by artisan roasters in the full review. (More than half of our coffees are certified kosher, too.)
  • Learn your coffee terms in our Coffee Glossary.
  • Where did coffee come from—and more importantly, how did it turn into the beverage we enjoy today? Read the history of coffee.
  • Trying to cut down on your daily coffee expenditures in this economy? Read our money-saving tips.

  • Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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