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The month of May is dedicated to celebrating all things fair trade. To mark the occasion, here are the five fair trade certified foods I add to my shopping cart each week and the logos to watch for! When I was young and in school, I was lucky enough to learn about the importance of choosing fair trade certified foods at the grocery store, to promote an economy where farmers and workers are paid a decent wage. Since then, I’ve always read product labels to find the right logos and choose these foods!

Logos to look for

With such a wide variety of logos and certifications on the packaging of our favourite products, it can be tricky to find the right information. When it comes to fair trade, there are a few certified logos to keep an eye out for to make sure you’re choosing the right products for the right reasons. Fairtrade: The first badge of authenticity that guarantees producers and workers receive a living wage. This system of certification is 50% governed by producers and ensures decent working conditions, prohibits child labour and promotes sound environmental practices. In addition, a minimum price is set by product and region to provide workers with a stable and viable income in an unstable market. Personally, this is the logo I look for when I shop! Fair Trade Ecocert: The best guarantee of a product’s fair trade values, from production to distribution. You can find this logo on some types of cocoa. UTZ Certified Good Inside: This logo only guarantees that a food’s production process is fair. This certification helps producers improve their business, social and environmental practices. There are several different logos and certifications that make it easy to spot fair trade foods at the grocery store. To find out more, I recommend this informative document on the subject.

What to add to your shopping cart

Coffee: Fair trade certified coffee is a product I add to my shopping cart every week. Whenever I feel like trying a new brand or roast, I pick one with the FAIRTRADE Mark. Luckily, my Rachelle Béry grocery store has a huge selection to choose from! Recently, I tried Mystique Coffee’s “Le Réveil Matin” blend, which is fair trade certified. It’s a strong dark roast coffee, just the way I like it! Tea: If you’re not a big coffee drinker, you’ll be happy to know that some teas are also fair trade certified. One example is Four O’Clock, a family-owned Canadian company that offers a variety of blends for every taste. In the summer, I always make a pitcher of iced tea on scorching hot afternoons and can go through a box of tea bags in a week! Choosing a fair trade certified product makes a real difference to the people who produce it. Chocolate and cocoa: I’m a big fan of chocolate and buy a ton of it! Fortunately, fair trade chocolate is now widely available in grocery stores. There are many different brands that offer a wide range of flavours! These include Camino, Theobroma and many others. You can even find hot chocolate blends, chocolate chips, and cocoa for baking. Bananas: You might not have expected this food to make the list, but fair trade bananas are available! Personally, I prefer paying a few cents more for organic, fair trade bananas. They have a noticeably better quality and taste and are still very affordable. Coconut milk: For curries and other decadent recipes, Cha’s Organics coconut milk is the ingredient you need in your cart. It’s fair trade certified and organic. Its creamy, exotic taste makes encouraging sustainable production a no-brainer! I truly believe we can make a difference through our choices as consumers. Buying fair trade certified products ensures decent working conditions and fair pay for producers and workers, as well as sound environmental practices. Vote with your wallet!