October is Fair Trade month and I have partnered with Be Fair to highlight Fair Trade and the farmers that provide us with certified organic products from all over the world.
Before I partnered with Be Fair, I bought fair trade products here and there. But at the time I didn’t really know that much about fair trade and everything that stood behind it. When I was approached by Be Fair to partner with them I was honored and grateful for the opportunity to learn about them and spread the word.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a global model and certification that allows people to identify and purchase products that have been ethically produced by farmers in developing countries all over the world. Fair trade offers these farmers a way to provide for their families and communities while learning the business skills necessary to produce high-quality products and being compensated for them at a fair price. As of today, fair trade benefits more than 1.2 million farming families in 70 developing countries.
Fair Trade principles include:
- Fair prices and credit
- Fair labor conditions
- Direct trade
- Democratic and transparent organizations
- Community development
- Environmental sustainability
As part of Fair Trade month, I was partnered with one of the farmers to give you a little insight and backstory as to how they contribute and benefit from Fair Trade. Allow me to introduce you to Jiang Fengzu, a tea farmer and member of Jiangxi WuYuan Xitou Tea Farmers Association in China. Jiang Fengzu is 69 years old. She is from a town called Xitou and picks tea on her organic tea plot. Jiang was one of the first members to join the Organic Tea Farmer cooperative in 2006 and start working with Fair Trade. “I’m grateful to have been able to produce quality tea and help my community at the same time. With support from the premiums on Fair Trade sales, we’ve assisted childrens’ educations, helped with medical bills, planted trees, trained upcoming farmers, constructed roads and even streetlamps.” ..Xitou, Wuyuan, Jiangxi province, China. As you can see, Jiang Fengzu is able to practice the art and craft of tea while contributing to the health and well-being of her community. To be able to know that the work you are doing is getting a fair price while benefiting the entire community is a very noble thing to do. I hope that by sharing her story that I am able to contribute to her and all the other farmers participating in fair trade beyond the mere words you see here on this page.
So what can you do to support Fair Trade?
- Look for the label – Fair Trade fights poverty, and that only works when you actually buy the products. Look for Fair Trade on the label every time you go shopping. When you do, know that you are helping to fight poverty while getting a healthy product in return for your support. I call that a win-win in my book.
- Get involved – Think globally and act locally. Grow awareness about fair trade to support impoverished communities around the world.
- Spread the word – You have the power to improve the world. All it takes is to speak up and tell everyone why you support Fair Trade.
So now that you know what you can do to support Fair Trade, work it into your everyday shopping. You will not only be benefiting yourself but the farmers who provided you the products as well.
As part of my partnership with Fair Trade, I was challenged to create a paleo recipe using at least two of the Fair Trade, paleo friendly ingredients they provided me with. When I received my box it consisted of Coconut Oil by Nutiva, Cococonut Flour by Arrowhead Mills, Unsweetened Cocao from Lake Champlain, Green Tea from Runa, Black Peppercorns from Frontier Co-Op, Unsweetened Chocolate from Sunspire, and Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups from Eating Evolved. Naturally the first thing I thought of is some kind of dessert, but I didn’t want to do something that easy. I really wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and challenge myself. So I decided to make a Slow Cooker Paleo Spicy Chocolate Chicken Mole. And you know what? It was amazing! Insert little spazzy happy dance here 🙂 The products I ended up using in the creation of this recipe included the coconut oil, the unsweetened chocolate bar and the black peppercorns. Please enjoy!
PALEO SPICY CHOCOLATE CHICKEN MOLE
- 2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil, more if needed
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 4-6 Tomatoes, diced
- 5 Mexican Chili Peppers, rehydrated and chopped
- 1/4 Cup Almond Butter
- 2.5 – 3 oz of Dark Chocolate, melted (70% or better)
- 1 Tsp Sea Salt, or Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Cayenne (less if you don’t like it spicy)
- 1/4 Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
- Avocado, Cilantro and Jalapeno to garnish, chopped
- Season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste.
- Over medium/high heat, melt your coconut oil.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pan and brown on all sides, and then place them in the slow cooker.
- Add the onions and saute them till they become translucent. Once you are done sauteing the onions, add them to the slow cooker with the chicken thighs.
- In a blender add your diced tomatoes, garlic, chili peppers, almond butter, melted chocolate, spices and coconut milk, and then blend till smooth.
- Pour your mole mixture into the slow cooker and mix everything thoroughly.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or till chicken is tender and falling apart.