6 Easy, Affordable Fair Trade Pantry Swaps

fair trade foods

If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate fair trade into your lifestyle starting with pantry swaps and food items is an easy place to begin! Consider swapping these items you purchase regularly for fair trade brands. Your simple swap will make a huge difference in the lives of farmers and the environment.

What does fair trade mean in the food industry? 

Fair trades values people, economic empowerment, and the environment. Businesses, farms, and producers are able to apply for fair trade certification which allows a third party to verify their dedication to these values and fair trade principals. A few organizations that provide fair trade verification in include Fairtrade America,  Fair Trade USAFair for Life, and the Fair Trade Federation. Consumers can look for their logos to recognize fair trade products in grocery stores. There are A LOT of fair trade products in the food industry such as chocolate, wine, nuts, coffee, sugars, and SO many more.

The fair trade food industry focuses on creating fair work environments for farmers with livable wages, reasonable hours, and less chemicals. By using less chemicals everyone is winning, the environment isn't being harmed, the air the farmers breathe is cleaner, and the food you're eating is better for your body. By stocking your pantry with fair trade food items, you are providing farmers with a livable wage to support their families. Here are six easy swaps you can make in your pantry to make fair trade a regular part of your purchasing without spending too much more.

fair trade coffee

Fair Trade Coffee

Fair trade coffee is easy to find and a great place to start when trying to incorporate more fair trade products into your life. This is a product you purchase weekly or monthly and this one swap will make a huge impact. Most grocery stores carry a few fair trade brands and some stores such as Kroger even have their own fair trade store brand of coffee. Fair trade coffee is an affordable swap for your pantry. You can typically find fair trade bags of coffee on Amazon and at the grocery store for $8-$15 depending on what you’re looking for.

My personal favorite fair trade coffee brand is Singing Rooster’s Vienna Medium Dark Roast. It’s the perfect amount of bold for me AND I LOVE that they have recyclable k-cups too! Fair trade for me and the farmers & eco-friendly for the planet, it’s a win, win, win! Here are a few other brands I love too!

fair trade chocolate brands

Fair Trade Chocolate

Whether you’re looking to swap your chocolate bars, baking chocolate, or chocolate chips, fair trade chocolate products tend to be easy to find. I’ve had no issues finding fair trade baking supplies and chocolate bars at Kroger, QFC, and Whole Foods.

A few of my personal favorite fair trade chocolate brands are Theo Chocolate, Frans, and Tony’s Chocolonely. Theo Chocolate is fair trade and organic and I’ve been able to tour their chocolate factory here in Seattle! They’re doing awesome work on not only creating fair trade, organic chocolate, but educating customers too. Their classic chocolate bars are great for baking too! Frans is a family owned company, also based in the pacific NW, that sells certain fair trade products. Their salted Carmel truffles and ice cream sauces are incredible and make wonderful gifts. Tony's Chocolonely is on a mission to make, not only their chocolate, but all chocolate slave free. Tony’s Chocolonely is always coming up with new, innovative flavors of chocolate bars! Their fair trade chocolate is high quality and great for holiday gifting too!

Fair Trade Sugar

If you’re a big baker then fair trade sugar is a great swap for you! It’s easy to find on Amazon or Whole Foods. My go-to brand is the Whole Foods store brand which is fair trade certified or Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar. And affordable switch with fair trade sugar typically around $8 a bag and since sugar is not an item you necessarily purchase every week, this investment in high quality, fair trade items will last you a while.

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Fair Trade Bananas

Bananas are probably one of the most affordable fair trade items you can purchase. They’re readily available too. I’ve been able to find them at grocery stores such as Kroger, QFC, and Whole Foods. Bananas are clearly marked by a fair trade sticker which makes them stand out in the fruit section.

Fair Trade Nuts

Almonds and cashews are common snacks that can easily be swapped for a fair trade brand. Equal Exchange has a product line of fair trade nuts that I encourage you to consider checking out.

Fair Trade Spices

Common spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and clove are part of Level Ground’s fair trade spice line. While fair trade spices may be a bit pricey, think of how often you purchase them? Spices are purchased on occasion and last a long time. The investment in fair trade spices makes your dollar have an impact and will last you a while.