I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for {Fair Trade Certified} Ice Cream!

Ben & Jerry’s is my all time favorite ice cream (and I’m not just saying that because they are sponsoring a giveaway).  So many of their flavors are wonderful and I will sit down and eat an entire pint in one sitting.  I probably shouldn’t admit to that  should I?  I think my very favorite is Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (with Phish Food a close second).  While I just adore me some Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, I never really paid attention to what the label said or meant when it read “Fair Trade Certified.”

I have been educated.

And it means something really cool.

What is “Fair Trade,” exactly?

One of the most well-known components of Fair Trade is that farmers are paid a livable wage. Paying a fair price for Fair Trade Certified goods empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and acquiring the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. But did you know that there are other aspects as well? They include:

  • Environmental sustainability: Farmers are not allowed to use harmful agrochemicals and GMOs. Preservation of the ecosystem surrounding these farms is very important: sustainable irrigation and crop rotation methods must be used, waste must properly be handled, and planting in virgin forests is prohibited. Also, conservation areas must be identified and left uncultivated.
  • Community development: Farmers invest their premiums in social and business developments, such as scholarship programs.
  • Safe working conditions: There is freedom of association between workers, and absolutely no child labor is allowed.
  • Direct purchasing: Those using FT products purchase directly from the suppliers, eliminating the middlemen usually involved in trade. This, in turn, empowers farmers to develop the ability to compete in an international market.
  • Democratically-handled revenue: Farmers and their workers work together in deciding how to invest their revenues.

Ben & Jerry’s is on a Fair Trade Mission

At Ben & Jerry’s, we make it our top priority to make the best ice cream, lead with our values, and do as much good for the world as possible. So, in 2003, we began working towards a partnership with Transfair USA, a non-profit organization in the U.S. that certifies products as Fair Trade. In late 2004, we were finally able to dig our spoon into the Fair Trade realm, and began sourcing our coffee beans from the Huatusco co-op in Oaxaca, Mexico. But hold on to your pints- there’s more! In early 2007, Ben & Jerry’s began using Fair Trade certified vanilla beans as well for its regular vanilla ice cream and Fair Trade certified cocoa for its regular chocolate ice cream. Today, Ben & Jerry’s sources from several Fair Trade co-ops around the world.

FTM2009-120x2401October is Fair Trade Month and Ben & Jerry’s is trying to spread the word about how important this movement is.  I have to agree.  Before I got the opportunity to post this for Ben & Jerry’s, I didn’t know what “Fair Trade” even meant.  And even though Fair Trade Month is almost over, you can still visit TransFair USA or FairTradeMonth.org and learn ways that you can help support this mission year round.  So many easy things that you can do to improve the lives of small farmers in developing countries around the World.

One delicious thing you can do right now to support Fair Trade is to buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! 🙂  Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Chocolate Macadamia are all pints available in stores and are Fair Trade Certified.  You can go to a Scoop Shop to try some plain ole Coffee or the juiced up Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, both also Fair Trade Certified.

Enjoy some delicious ice cream and make the World a better place.  Sounds like a deal.

What would a Ben & Jerry’s sponsored post be without some ice cream to give away?!

giveaway titleThe very nice people at Ben & Jerry’s would like to spread the Fair Trade joy by letting me give away FIVE (5) coupons each worth one free pint of ice cream.  So that would equal (for the mathematically challenged) FIVE FREE PINTS of delicious Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!  Oh, and a free T-Shirt, too.  But really, I know you are here for the ice cream.  LOL

First Mandatory Entry

Visit Ben & Jerry’s (or not if you are already an expert) and leave me a comment telling me what you favorite ice cream flavor is.  If you have never tried them before *gasp* now would be the time to search out your new favorite.  Trust me, once you go to B&J you will never go back!

Extra Entries for This Giveaway Only

1 ~ Follow Ben & Jerry’s on Twitter (receive one extra entry)

2 ~ Follow Fair Trade USA on Twitter (receive one extra entry)

3 ~ Visit FairTradeMonth.Org and look at what you can do to promote Fair Trade.  Leave a comment linking to just one thing you would be willing to do.  They have a new suggestion for each day of the month…so “31 days, 31 ways” (receive THREE extra entries – leave me 3 comments)

4 ~ Tweet about this giveaway.  Unlimited entries but please DO NO SPAM your followers.

Ben & Jerrys Celebrates Fair Trade Month by giving away FREE ICE CREAM http://tinyurl.com/yfrp79g @cherrygarcia @fairtradeusa #fairtrade

This giveaway will end on November 3rd at 10pm Pacific Time.  Winner will be chosen at Random.org from all eligible entries and winner will be notified by email.  Winner will have 72 hours to reply before I eat all the ice cream myself (kidding).  I’ll just pick a new winner…if I have to.

Good luck!