START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

What’s Brewing in Your Coffee?

What’s Brewing in Your Coffee?

Coffee is one of the most important crops to buy both organic and fair trade for a variety of environmental and social reasons–so learn the rich story behind your cup of Joe.

By the numbers:
$80 billion: Annual worth of trade in coffee–the world’s second most-traded commodity after oil.
28 million: Number of small farmers growing coffee in more than 50 countries.
1: The United States’ rank among the world’s coffee importers.
$26: Cost to U. S. consumers for some specialty Ethiopian coffee beans per pound–though farmers may net less than 80 cents for those same beans.
2: Coffee’s rank among most-pesticided crops, after cotton.

Shade-grown: Coffee bushes cultivated in a modified forest. Trees filter direct sunlight, nourish the soil, and provide critical habitat for migratory songbirds.

Organic: Certified farmers adhere to practices that enhance biodiversity and promote soil health–and do not use harmful chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

Fair Trade: Certified importers agree to pay a minimum price (now $1.26 per pound) and provide credit to small farmers. Many fair traders also fund projects benefiting local communities, from digging wells to reforestation.

Make a difference

If you make coffee at home: A pound of beans makes about 40 cups. So at $11 per pound–an estimated average for organic fair-trade java — that breaks down to less than 30 cents a cup.

If you buy coffee drinks: Try to choose a shop that serves all fair-trade beans. If you visit one that carries only one kind of fair trade (or none), ask the manager why. And let him/her know you’d appreciate seeing fair trade choices.

Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit for more articles and free recipes.

Read more: All recipes, Drinks, Food, Green, , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
10:47AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Thank you, really liked the coffee at home option information as I always wondered how the price average worked out.

6:28PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Well, that was clearly stated.

1:14AM PST on Jan 30, 2013

It has to be Tea only.

8:33AM PDT on Oct 4, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:58PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

As a coffee drinker this is good information to know. Thank you.

2:31AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012


6:53AM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

Great article. I love coffee. Thanks for sharing.

11:38AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

Thank you

6:01AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:26PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

Dont buy Starbucks They wont support our troops!!!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Good, I love many of them.

Thanks for sharing.

My dear Budd had no problem with a belly rub! Come to think of it if you scratched or rubbed him any…

tofu? Where's the coconut?

All true. Thank you.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.