Coffee & Tea

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Coffee & Tea

Buying fair trade coffee means fair prices for producers and casting a vote for the ethical treatment of the laborers around the world who are responsible for our daily coffee fix. Because of the extraordinary demand for coffee in the West, the coffee bean industry is one of the largest sites of forced labor and child slavery worldwide. Workers are made to work long hours with little or no pay, and often exposed to dangerous chemical fertilizers and pesticides that have been banned in the US. 

Most of the tea in the world is grown on large plantations where millions of hired workers both live and work in poor conditions, with wages often below the national average. There is a high incidence of medical problems as workers are exposed to large amounts of pesticides which are banned in the consumer countries but freely used in the developing world. A large number of children work on the plantations alongside their parents, as they rarely have access to schooling, meaning there is little hope that they will do anything else but follow in their footsteps.

Level Ground Trading, improves the lives of disadvantaged producers through trade. They buy coffee beans directly from several countries where fair trade investment has gone towards projects including: capacity building, ecotourism to supplement coffee production, domestic sales of roasted coffee, training in organic farming and educational funds and scholarships. Level Ground Trading has direct relationships with tea growers who own and operate the tea gardens and rely on the sale of tea as their primary source of income. All of the processing of the tea is done by hand in very small drying facilities at each tea garden that employs between 5 and 20 laborers. These fair trade tea estates have a workers' organization to represent their interests including a living wage, a minimum level of housing as well as schools and clinics.

Dean's Beans uses high quality specialty coffee as a vehicle for progressive change throughout the coffeelands of Asia, Africa and the Americas. They do this through activism, ecological responsibility and innovative direct development programs with our cooperative partners. All of their fine whole bean specialty coffees are certified organic, fair trade, and kosher, and are roasted in small batches at their beanery in Orange, MA. 

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