I've watch chunks of the three-hour TV documentary series Black Coffee on TVO over the last few weeks and it makes me want to campaign for coffee snobbery. The show explains how the international coffee trade is the second largest commodity market after oil but how it is driven by movement of the worst quality. Now I know and you know about fair trade coffee and how buying from small producers more directly gives them a decent chance of a decent wage.
What I did not know was about how the best coffee is not grown on land stripped of all its forest but under the shade of a canopy. So if you buy coffee from those producers, it is simply the best, it is a purchase of quality for reasonable cost and it saves the rainforest in that small producers only need to plant the old trees to improve quality. The trees attract the wildlife back creating tourism, the trees provide natural fertilizer reducing pesticide and provide another cash crop in time through sustainable low impact lumber production.
We buy wine and and bread and beer and juice and cheese to have the best our wallet can afford. If we did the same with coffee beans, we might solve an economic problem as well...and not to be a do-gooder but to be a snob. Here is the website for Just Us Coffee, the small fair trade roasters in Nova Scotia we used to mail order from. It's a start to your life as a big fat snob for good.