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National Coffee Day a Fine Time to Commit to Fair Trade

female coffee farmerIn recognition of today as National Coffee Day, during which coffee purveyors big and small are offering patrons free coffee and espresso drinks, a Washington D.C. human rights blogger is pleading with consumers to switch today to “guilt-free” Fair Trade coffee.

Writing for the D.C. edition of, Cassandra Clifford writes:

Child labor and slavery continues to plague the coffee industry, forcing children to often work to harvest what will soon become your cheap Cup of Joe you sip as you trudge through the day.  Child labor in the agricultural industry consists of children being bought and sold as slaves or bonded laborers, as migrant or estate workers usually with their family. Many children work for commercial farms and plantations that produce our commodities and are estimated to be 7-12% of the work force. Besides coffee children are often found as labors in the harvest of cocoa, coconuts, cotton, fruit and vegetables, jasmine, palm oil, rubber, sisal, sugar cane, tea, tobacco, and vanilla.

Clifford, who often writes about child labor and other global human rights issues, urges consumers to pursue Free Trade products, beginning today with coffee:

Fair Trade is everyone’s issue, it is more than looking at the world through a lens of more organic and healthy food, it is more than a fair wage for farmers…Fair Trade is the way to a sustainable future for all of the worlds children.  So join the fight for children across the globe, and join your global citizens for coffee with a cause and drink Fair Trade today!

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