Certain baking goods like flour, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla are deemed essentials in the kitchen if you bake often enough. Picking up one of these products has even become automatic in a way as we wheel our carts through colorful grocery aisles. If we need an ingredient, we buy it, and we know what we like and so we usually stick to the same brands and varieties unless a recipe calls for some specific ingredient we don’t typically keep at home.
A number of us do of course take health factors into account when choosing baking goods. Others may even factor environmental impact and animal welfare into their purchase decisions. Yet fair trade considerations seems to lag behind all of these even though fair trade certified products are often healthier, more eco-friendly, and kinder to animals than traditional products. Moreover, fair trade products usually mean that farmers and producers are better cared for, which even solely health-conscious, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products may not take into consideration.
These observations are not meant to pit one type of product or brand over another. Rather, they mainly suggest that perhaps we should take another look as we browse for products in the grocery store. If we widen our gaze to see more of the socially conscious products, maybe we’ll find that our pie, cookie, or brownie taste just a bit sweeter than they did before.
To feed your belly and your desire to do good, check out the following five fair trade baking products. They’re good for you, the planet, and the farmers who made them possible.
Wholesome Sweeteners was the first company to bring fair trade certified products into the U.S. market. Since the start of their fair trade certified program in 2005, they have paid more than $800,000 directly to farmers’ cooperatives in Costa Rica, Malawi, Mexico, and Paraguay. Their products are also certified organic so no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are used on their crops. This organic sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners is made from freshly squeezed organic cane juice that was evaporated and crystallized on the same day of as its harvest. It’s not just fair trade and organic certified; it’s also certified kosher and non-GMO. Moreover, the sugar is great for vegan eaters—absolutely no animal products or byproducts were used in its production.