I really want to continue the organic coffee thread (and I will) but I’m putting in altogether too much time on a super-duper-secret, very special, Special Reserve coffee for Green Mountain. Happily I won’t have to keep it secret much longer (I hate keeping secrets!)

Meanwhile… here’s fodder for your Friday the 13th.

  • Why should consumers buy Fair Trade Certified products? What difference does a cup of Fair Trade coffee make? What is Starbucks relationship with Fair Trade? WorldChanging.com asks these questions and more in a far-ranging interview with Tansfair USA’s Paul Rice. (A podcast, too!) I liked this bit, in particular:

    Charity is noble and there is a place for charity. We’re trying to build something different, something much more innovative. We’re trying to build a different way of doing business. A way of doing business that allows a company to be profitable, while they do good in the world. Why do those two have to be a contradiction? Why can’t we align the interests of companies and farmers and consumers, such that everyone wins by doing the right thing? That’s the dream, that’s the promise of Fair Trade.

  • While lots of Vermonters point at our continuing daily snow showers and make snarky remarks a la “What Global Warming?” (it’s irony, right? c’mon, right?) I’ve been wondering myself what kind of impact global climate change might have on specialty coffee. I know, I know… there’s bigger issues, not the least of which is the uprooting of millions of people as sea-levels rise around the world, or the loss of species unable to cope with the change in habitat. At the same time I can’t help but think, there’s not a lot of really great coffee growing lands in the world — maybe 1% of the entire planet — and it’s almost certainly at risk. Turns out, that’s something they’re worrying about a quite a lot in coffee growing countries like India and Brazil. Ponder that as you sip from your global warming coffee mug. (The debate as to whether the mug itself is crass commercialization of impending crisis, or a conversation piece sure to start a useful dialog ’round the office coffee pot is left as an exercise for the reader.)

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