Monday, June 28, 2010

A Fairtrade Coffee Complex

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened.

We ran out of coffee!

And since the food-dude's household was kindly loaned a proper barista's coffee machine we've been really enjoying the daily cup. 

So I headed down Little Collins to the venerable Quists Coffee to top up supplies.

I struck up a conversation with the friendly barista and asked if Quists had any fairtrade blends for sale.

“No, but we do source from suppliers that provide a fair return for growers”

Fair enough, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt and plunked down some cash for 250 grams of their finest Miscela Italiana - delicious. But is it guilt free?

Now obviously it had a few food miles on it, but I have yet to find an Australian grown coffee I enjoy, so sometimes we have to make concessions. I do however, like to make sure the coffee is bringing at least a modicum of benefits to the growers.

Wanting to find out a bit more about how Quists provide their "fair return" I thought I'd drop them a note.

Kudos to Doris at Quists for her quick responses. It seems that Fairtrade is a complicated area and although the official label does bring a degree of credibility, there are companies out there trying to do the right thing.

What do you think? Should Quists subscribe to the Fairtrade Association or are you satisfied with their position.

You can follow the email exchanges after the jump.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What's in a can of tuna?

I was having lunch with a long-lost friend the other day when she asked me about the sustainability of tuna.

I made some vague response, but I was floundering and didn't really know the answer. Being the geek I am, I thought I'd do some digging.

Turns out that not all tinned tuna is created equal. Find out more after the jump.