At home: Spring for organic, fair-trade beans. Costing an average of $11, each pound makes about 40 cups, which breaks down to less than 30 cents a cup.

When you buy at a café: Try to choose a shop that serves all fair-trade beans. If you visit one that carries only one kind of fair trade (or none), tell the manager you'd appreciate seeing more fair-trade choices.


Over the past decade, coffee prices plummeted to as low as 35 cents a pound, even though it costs farmers at least 60 cents to produce that coffee, according to Cycon. Certified fair-trade importers agree to pay a minimum price (now $1.26 per pound) and provide credit to small farmers. Many fair traders also fund projects benefiting local communities, from digging wells to reforestation.

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Sources: Dean Cycon, founder, Dean's Beans Organic Coffee; Transfair USA; Oxfam International; Global Exchange.