Food & Drink

5 of the Best Fairtrade Foodie Finds

By Megan Osborne
10th Oct 2014

Oh, fair maidens and honourable gentlemen, here at The Urban List, we volunteer to join your gallant quest to find all things fair and Fairtrade. It can be hard to nut-out the do's and don'ts of this bustling consumer-driven world, so we've done our research, and not only found out why you should shop Fairtrade, but also supplied you with a handy list of five excellent Fairtrade finds in Melbourne.

Fairtrade is the term used when companies in developed countries, pay a fair and reasonable price to the producers from developing countries for their goods. This noble endeavour is all about better prices, decent working conditions, sustainability, and kicking to the curb the injustices of conventional trade—which sees discrimination against the poorest and weakest producers. 

Pretty great cause, right? Here's our pick of five of the best Fairtrade foodie finds in Melbourne for all you fair of heart and mind (and wallet).

Griffiths Bros

With 135 years of expertise behind them, Griffiths Bros is proudly Australian-owned and operated. Providing over 800 cafes and supermarkets around Australia with exceptional coffee, you can also buy one (or many) of their 5 Fairtrade organic or single origins from their online store. Griffiths' Mulgrave location hosts their roasting and production lab, warehouse and head office, but also a bean store where you can purchase coffee that is guaranteed to be freshly roasted daily! Can't get out to Mulgrave? That's okay - you can now shop Griffiths Bros online. Not only do they brew some of the best coffee in Melbourne, but Griffiths provides craving-worthy-caffeine that you can feel good about drinking.

All Griffiths Fairtrade beans are bought at a guaranteed premium, usually two to three times higher than the market price, ensuring the result of fair wages and better living conditions to the farmers and investing in local communities and environmental sustainability. Try their Honduras Fairtrade and Organic Single Origin, sourced from the COCAFCAL Co-Op in Western Honduras, incorporating 12 communities in the municipalities of San Pedro, Copan and Corquin. This medium roast comprises of rich, earthy flavours with a buttery caramel finish. There's even an option for you decaf lovers, with their Peru Decaffeinated, sourced from the Moquegua region and cultivated without pesticides or fertilisers, this medium-to-dark roast creates a clean cup with subtle notes of cocoa.

Alter Eco Chocolate

Chocaholics with a conscience, look no further. The Alter Eco range of Fairtrade products (also including rice quinoa and sugar) supports and invests in the ethical integrity and social responsibility providers have to their producers. Each product reflects a unique story and authentic fragrance from the place it was sourced, whether it be their 47% cocoa Dark Chocolate Toffee with butter and sea salt made by the Acopagro cooperative in Peru, or the 60% cocoa Dark Twist with crystallised orange peel by the Fortazela cooperative in Ecuador. With 12 individual chocolate flavours, there are simple tastes for the traditional, or gourmet. 

Alter Eco stocks in a number of ethically minded food stores around Melbourne, from Baysides' Elwood General Store and Wholefoods Food Store, in Brighton, to Flinders Organic in Melbourne, Prahran Health Foods, Prahran and Organic Wholefoods, Brunswick East, as well as many more.

Karma Cola

All Good, the company responsible for this delicious and ethically awesome brand; Karma Cola, recently won a top international Fairtrade award for their strong commitment and contributions to Fairtrade producers and the growing awareness of Fairtrade sales. Karma Cola is an innovative product, which gives cola nut farmers in Sierra Leone an international profile and sustainable support. All Good's mission statement; 'In an enlightened world we should treat the people who grow our food as if they lived right next door', is one we can definitely get on board with. 

When you buy a bottle of Karma Cola, part of every sale goes to the people of Boma Village in Sierra Leone and Naiahun to invest in community projects. Past funds have already helped build a bridge and send 15 young girls to school. Future plans to build a fresh water well, a processing centre and store for crops, and infrastructure to rehabilitate more cola plantations, guarantees your good feelings while you're sipping away on this fizzy refreshment.

Other products include Gingerella Ginger Ale sourced from the central and Uva provinces in Sri Lanka, with the ginger organically grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers. Their Lemmy Lemonade sources organic lemons from Sicily, and organic Fairtrade sugar from Maharashtra in India. Other delicious drops include sparkling waters and organic fruit juices. Want to know where you can purchase these thirst quenchers? Tomboy in Collingwood is your answer, as well as Atomica in Fitzroy and Cup of Truth in Melbourne, to name a few.

Noble Spirits

Noble Spirits are proud partners with FAIR Spirits Company, providing the world's first line of spirits that's Fairtrade certified. An Australian-based company, Noble Spirits was created to meet the needs of more discernible consumers looking for genuine, higher-quality alcoholic beverages, made with a conscience. 

Be adventurous and try their FAIR Vodka, which is gluten free and made with quinoa! Sounds cooky, but it's seriously delicious. With two years of research and development between the producers in Bolivia and distillers in France, this unique double brewed and distilled vodka has won multiple awards and has a lively herbal palate with a crisp citrus finish. Other tantalising products include a Goji liqueur, with the goji berries farmed in the Himalayas, Tibet, and certified Fairtrade raw sugar cane from Africa, and FAIR Rum, sourced from Belize.

Want to purchase these wicked (but actually really good) items? Head to Brighton Fine Wines, The Cullen, The Olsen, or The Blackman. Also the perfect unique gift for a loved one (or a loved self).

Clipper Tea

Clipper Tea is proud to only work with producers who are improving their welfare standards for workers and their families. Providing support to tea producers and their surrounding communities, Clipper tea's Fairtrade premiums go toward improving local infrastructure and supporting community projects such as roads, schools, and medical resources. 

Their robust Everyday Tea is blended from Fairtrade estates in India, Africa, and Sri Lanka, and is a full-bodied tea. Or for green tea lovers, they have a light and delicate Jasmine Green Tea, sourced from the highlands of central China. 

We tracked Clipper Tea down at Brighton Wholefoods Food Store and Organic Wholefoods in Fitzroy and Brunswick.

Want more goodness? Check out our list of Melbourne's best health-food stores!

Image credit: Tash Sorenson, The Urban List.

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