7 Fair Trade Coffee Brands For Better Beans & Brews Image by Sustainable Jungle #fairtradecoffeebrands #bestfairtradecoffee #directtradecoffeebrands #freetradecoffeebrands #fairtradeorganiccoffee #sustainablejungle
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7 Fair Trade Coffee Brands For Better Beans & Brews Image by Sustainable Jungle #fairtradecoffeebrands #bestfairtradecoffee #directtradecoffeebrands #freetradecoffeebrands #fairtradeorganiccoffee #sustainablejungle
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7 Fair Trade Coffee Brands For Better Beans & Brews

Molly Willows

Coffee dates back to the fifteenth century in modern day Yemen, where Sufi monasteries used a cuppa joe as an aid to concentration during prayers.

Today, coffee has reached a mythical status across virtually all cultures as the lifeblood of most peoples’ mornings. 

Why Fair Trade coffee?

Because the global coffee industry remains part of a daily grind even darker than the muddiest Arabica roast: we’re talking exploitation of both people and planet (no) thanks to issues like deforestation, chemical use, shoddy workers rights, and unfair wages.

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

The Best Fair Trade Coffee Brands To Jump Past the 3pm Slump

So what coffee brands are Fair Trade?

You’ll be frappé to know Atlas Coffee Club, who offer one of the most bespoke subscription services showcasing fresh and aromatic single origin, fairly traded coffees that support communities around the globe.

Grace Farms stands for a whole latte love with their Grace Farms Foundation-backed certified Organic and Fairtrade coffees and teas that give back ALL  profits to end forced labor worldwide.

If you’re jonesing to know how we found these truly cool beans, shoot like a double espresso shot to the end of this article. 

The Full List of Fair Trade Certified Coffee Brands

1. Grace Farms

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Images by Grace Farms

Grace Farm’s Affordable Fairtrade Coffee

Price Range: $14–$54

One cup at a time, Grace Farms ends forced labor alongside the Grace Farms Foundation, the not-for-profit behind the label who shares their mission. 

They’re regarded as one of the best Fair Trade certified coffee brands.

There’s a solid variety of light to dark roast options sold, like their signature organic River Roast, a smooth and bold medium blend with notes of chocolate and tropical fruits sourced from their partnering women-led co-ops in Ethiopia, Colombia, and Indonesia.

With Grace Farms, you’re guaranteed affordable, high-quality organic arabica beans, tested and roasted for optimal flavor with the assurance of responsibly sourced coffee.

Grace Farm’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Grace Farms’ fairly traded coffee invests in female entrepreneurs and empowers women across the globe, since only women-led co-ops across Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America are where they source from.

They’re also mug-nificently certified with B Corp, Fairtrade, and USDA Organic all offering their seal of approval.  

100% of Grace Farms profits go to their Design For Freedom organization to help end forced labor worldwide, which demonstrates it’s possible for big brands to prioritize freedom over profit.

Products are also shipped in FSC-certified plastic-free, biodegradable, post-consumer materials. 

2. Atlas Coffee Club

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

Atlas Coffee Club’s Fairly Traded Coffee

Price Range: $11–$33 per month via subscription.

Atlas Coffee Club offers a unique Fair Trade coffee subscription service that showcases a host of first-rate coffees worldwide.

With over 100,000 subscribers, they’re spreading across the atlas.

Atlas sourced some of the nicest single-origin coffee from over 50 countries, like Myanmar, Malawi, and Peru, with everything specialty grade and hand-picked at its peak ripeness for premium quality.

They offer monthly subscriptions for grounds, whole beans, and pods, which are recyclable and compatible with Nespresso and Keurig machines. 

Each month, Atlas delivers 12 or 24 ounces (your choice) of a freshly roasted batch from a new country, plus a postcard, tasting notes, history, and 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your next batch is free. 

The roasts rotate so while you may not be able to try the exact ones we’ve sampled, know that we personally give the Peruvian roast two totally caffeinated thumbs up/

It’s a darker roast that’s grown in high altitudes which, if you didn’t know, provides a slower growth cycle that helps make the beans less acidic—giving it a smoother taste that will also sit lighter on the stomach and teeth.

Our gut is extremely sensitive to acidic foods, so this is something we really notice compared to standard, mass-grown coffees.

Plus, who could say no to the subtle caramel notes that naturally sweeten up that morning brew just a little?

Atlas Coffee Club’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Their trademarked slogan is “A world tour of amazing coffee,” and Atlas manages just that with their award-winning ethically sourced roasts delivered straight to your door.

Not only do they pay farmers well above fair trade prices to ensure they have ethically sustainable farming practices and enough resources to produce the best batches, but they take their community support a step further, for example by helping two Nicaraguan farms out of debt.

They’ve also helped improve coffee education and repurposing in India, using excess coffee cherries for fresh batches. 

To support many various initiatives globally, they also have featured events like the Atlas 12 Months of Impact, where they support a cause from every coffee origin each month. 

Atlas also ships in 100% recycled packaging, which they say has saved over six thousand trees. two million gallons of water, and 370 tons of CO2

It’s no wonder industry tastemakers like The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Good Housekeeping have all recognized Atlas for their mission. 

3. Pure Origin

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Images by Pure Origin

Pure Origin’s Organic Fair Trade Coffee Farms

Price Range: $14.99 per bag

Pure Origin’s coffee is just that—sustainably sourced from the purest origins to ensure the best quality to match their ethics. 

Their coffees are all single origin coffee beans, meaning that every bag contains beans grown from the same farm and zero blends. 

Single origin coffee tends to deliver a higher quality coffee experience than blends, plus they provide more transparency about sourcing. 

Currently for sale are single origin coffees from Kenya, Honduras, and Colombia, and single origin organic beans from Indonesia, Congo, and Peru.

Their Organic Peru roast (offered as whole or ground beans) is a fan favorite which, as part of the Todos Al Agua project, assists 364+ coffee farmers in need of clean water. Its light Arabica beans yield a rich, nutty flavor free from acidity and smooth to taste.

Pure Origin’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Pure Origin brings single origin coffee, community support, and modern storytelling together with their coffee project featuring unique relationships with local coffee growers and an AR film project that showcases the story of where your bag of coffee came from.

As they say, “Pure Origin Coffee is born on the grounds of need for human connection.” 

Every bag of coffee features a truly “pure origin” tale with a personal human touch, alongside interesting information about the coffee and what you’re supporting by drinking it.

From seed to cup, this direct trade coffee brand uniquely connects the customer with the real farmer who lovingly grew their bag of beans in support of small-scale environmental stewardship.

Everything is Fair Trade and half are certified organic.

4. Mr Espresso

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Images by Mr Espresso

Mr Espresso’s Responsibly Sourced Coffee

Price Range:$14–$19 per bag; monthly subscriptions also available.

San Francisco-based Mr Espresso is unique for using oak wood to fuel their roasters rather than gas. Although wood is less predictable and takes more care to manage temperature changes in the roasting process, the end result sure benefits your cup.

We love their Fair Trade organic coffee line of ten-plus different oak wood roasted beans, depending on your preference. 

One of their fan favorites is the Organic Golden Gate House Blend, a soft, low-acid bean with dark chocolate, sweet caramel, fruity accents.

It’s available as whole bean, espresso, moka pot, drip, French press, or cold brew. 

Mr Espresso’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Since 1978, Mr Espresso has served at the helm of the Bay area’s ethical espresso scene. 

A portion of each retail purchase goes toward charitable work that is near and dear to Mr Espresso, via the company’s own In Our Hearts Fund

Some initiatives they support on an ongoing basis include Alameda County Community Food Bank, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region, No Kid Hungry, among a number of others. 

Additionally, for every Mr. Espresso Seven Bridges Blend sold, 20% goes directly to their Roots Run Deep Fund. This effort is dedicated to supporting local initiatives, to tip the scales of justice and opportunity in favor of the underserved among us and to fight systemic racism.

Empowering small producers, food justice, and coffee-related educational initiatives are at the heart of Mr Espresso’s mission. 

5. Equal Exchange

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

Equal Exchange’s Organic Fair Trade Coffee UK

Price Range: $26–$104

Equal Exchange first opened its doors in the 1980s attempting to answer the question: what if food could be traded in a way that’s honest and fair?

Four decades later, they have a robust(a) offering of fairly traded goods like bespoke ethical tea, nuts, dried fruit, olives, gifts, and 100% addictive ethical chocolate (we’re drooling already) all sourced from authentic Fair Trade partners.

Their best Fair Trade organic coffee blend is none other than the iconic Organic French Roast, which for 20+ years Equal Exchangers have adored as a full bodied and intensely dark gem, with chocolaty richness and a subtle smoky flavor all naturally occurring from the roasting itself.

And while we haven’t been loving it for 20+ years quite yet, we can confirm the bold, yet smoother flavor—not to mention the delightful, rich aroma—makes for the perfect wake up call!

Equal Exchange’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Equal Exchange has a mission to sustain long-term trade partnerships that are environmentally sound and economically just. 

They seek to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers, as well as to provide living proof that successful worker co-operatives and practices like Fair Trade do enable a more equitable and sustainable world.

Since the mid-80s, they have worked with farmer cooperatives that incorporate democratic practices—like voting and sharing resources.

Today, EE sustainably sources from more than 40 small farmer organizations globally.

Through their Citizen-Consumers movement, they have gathered hundreds of individuals and provided transformational events on food politics, climate justice, and other social causes.

Most products are packed in compostable and recyclable materials. 

Also available on Ethical Superstore (UK)

6. Brooklyn Roasting Company

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Images by Brooklyn Roasting Company

Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Fairly Traded Coffees

Price Range: $16–$85

Fair Trade certified coffee brand Brooklyn Roasting Company has a loyal following thanks to their tasty high quality beans and ethical Fair Trade standards.

You can get a wide variety of seasonal coffees and single origin beans, custom and espresso blends, and a handy subscription service. 

We love their playful products and business practices that take the oftentimes ostentatious coffee connoisseur culture and make it fun with their “Color of Coffee” tasting method—drawing pictures of potential brews instead of a traditional score ration. 

Chocolatey notes may have doodles brown, while hints of fruit elicit sweeps of blues and reds, making it an intuitive system for all their roasts.

That includes the Bespoke blend, perfectly tailored for the classic coffee-lovers’ palette, or the boldly balanced Java Mocha to get your day going.

Coffee is packaged in reusable steel cans that can be refilled, and wholesale orders come in recyclable totes. 

Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Headquartered in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Roasting Company continues a long tradition of the borough’s industrious, bustling commitment to quality and craftsmanship. 

90% of the brand’s roasts are Fair Trade certified.

Sustainable food packaging and fuel-efficient roasters earn them the honors as an internationally renowned Fair Trade coffee brand. 

The company also supports local organizations like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the New York Public Library.

7. Bean & Bean

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Images by Bean & Bean

Bean & Bean’s Direct Trade Coffee

Price Range: $11–$85

Bean & Bean is one of the most beloved direct trade coffee brands, thanks to the traceable coffee beans that the family-owned NY-based business sources themselves.

The results are delicious: B&B sells exceptional coffees and rare varieties from award-winning small farms, much of which is USDA Organic and certified Fair Trade.

We suggest their highly affordable Downtown Blend, sourced from three Fair Trade farms, developed in their first ever Manhattan shop. Today, it has a large fan following for its richly smooth hints of cocoa, cedar, herbs, and roasted nuts.

Bean & Bean’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Mother-daughter “sommeliers of coffee” Rachel and Jiyoon Han first started Bean & Bean almost two decades ago, and now have four locations across NYC.

In their words:

“When you drink our coffee, you’re not just getting quality; you’re also making a promise to do better in the world […] Our goal is to source as much female-powered coffee as possible.”

Bean & Bean works tirelessly to bridge the gender gap in coffee throughout the value chain by selecting partners who also ensure women get their fair share from origin to your cup. 

More than half their coffee today is from female-led farms, and everything is directly sourced by mom and daughter to ensure it is ethical and sustainable. 

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How We Chose The Best Brands of Fair Trade Coffee

The best Fair Trade coffee is, well, fair trade—that also happens to be high in quality, aroma, and tastiness. 

While we love an excuse to sample rocket fuel from around the globe, we don’t source them just by taste alone. 

Instead, we apply some formal criteria by which we judge all sustainable food brands:


The environment isn’t the only thing impacted by farming practices— the nutrients and flavor of a roast are, too. 

For example, a lot of the most sustainable coffee brands sourced from shade-grown farms. This method grows coffee plants beneath a native tree canopy, which helps promote biodiversity, preserves the natural ecosystem, and often prevents needing synthetic pesticides. 

Shade-grown farms can be tricky to source from exclusively though, and we also looked for organic, non-GMO, and single-origin Arabica farms—which likewise produce healthy, mouthwatering brews.

Sourcing & labor practices:

All of these brands must follow fair trade and Direct Trade principles. They’re sometimes called free trade coffee brands, though note ‘free trade’ criteria are generally less strict than fair trade, so official fair trade certification is the ideal.

This ensures fair pay, safe and ethical working conditions, equal employment, and reinvestment in worker communities.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

The best Fair Trade coffee fills our planet’s cups with eco-friendly packaging, renewable energy use, localized production, carbon offsetting, and other ways to minimize a company’s eco footprint.

Community & charitable giving:

Pinky fingers up to those brands who take their ethics an arm’s length further by giving a hand to both their local communities and the global communities they source their ingredients from. 

Final Thoughts On Ethical & Fairtrade Coffee Brands

It can feel like a real grind to find coffee with a conscience, especially knowing there are over 100 million coffee growers worldwide of which many receive inadequate compensation.

Selecting the best fair trade certified coffee brands ensures you can savor every aspect of that vegan sustainable milk alternative cappuccino, guilt-free.

Next time you reach for a morning cup of joe, consider the people and planet-loving beans listed, to promote an equally tasty and just global coffee industry.

Go ahead, please share this article with your Tim Hortons (or worse, Starbucks) obsessed colleagues to show them we can all Java brew-tiful day when we support our Fair Trade coffee farmers.


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