Blogging for Good

live simply. buy ethically.

November 27, 2015
by leo

A Grateful Farewell

Nathan and CathAs founders of Trade as One, Cath and I wanted to say a huge thank you to the thousands of people who have supported what we have been doing for the last ten years – those who purchased the products we sourced, those who opened their communities to hear the message we wanted to bring, and those who helped us so much with their enthusiasm, time, ideas, generous support, donations, volunteering, investments, loans, advice, wisdom and warm friendships.

Trade as One was founded on the central belief that the poor don’t want charity; they want to be treated as equals and simply to be allowed an opportunity to participate in the global economy. We believed that not only should they be offered this opportunity to improve their lives, but, just as importantly, this was essential for our own wellbeing.

The last ten years have been an amazing adventure for us and our family – moving from a small village in rural England to the heart of Silicon Valley and then to Santa Cruz. Although we had to move back to the UK a couple of years ago, we continue to miss all the amazing friends we made across the United States but especially in our community in the Bay Area – intelligent, compassionate, optimistic, fun and thoughtful people of humility and integrity. We miss you all a lot.

And so, sadly, it has come time to close Trade as One – we hope you help us to shift all the inventory we have left on hand and pick up great, healthy, natural products for yourselves at great prices! More than that though, we hope that in some small way Trade as One has had an impact on your lives and that we all continue to look for ways to live more simply and intentionally. In doing so we make space for a better world to emerge from the noise, speed, consumption and fear that can so easily cling to all that we do.

Thank you for your part in Trade as One.


Nathan and Cath

March 17, 2015
by morgan
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More Than Just Olives

What we love about Canaan Fair Trade is that they’re more than just about olive oil; they’re a community of people working to improve the lives of farmers and Palestinian communities in an area that is rocked by instability and conflict. This is why we’re so excited to have Canaan Fair Trade and their olive oil as this season’s featured producer and product for our quarterly Fair Trade food subscription!

Here’s a little more about them

Canaan Fair Trade uses the fair trade concept to empower marginalized Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. In order to do that, they have built direct working relationships with these communities, paying sustainable prices for their agriculture products to ensure fair wages for labor along the supply chain. They are in continuous partnership with over 1,700 Palestinian farmers and 43 cooperatives, where this blossom to press connection means Canaan Fair Trade can guarantee consistency for the highest quality olive oil every year.

They educate farmers about the sustainable practices and support conversion to certified organic production. Their aim is to ensure high quality standards, while implementing social and economic empowerment programs.

By giving incentive to produce a high quality product, Canaan hopes reestablish traditional sustainable farming as an avenue for Palestinian farmers earning a livelihood. Fair Trade provides a vehicle for alternative cultural expression and the opportunity for communities caught in conflict to connect with the outside world.

Beyond Labels.

Canaan Fair Trade is certified Fair Trade and certified organic, but they’re also so much more than that. Here’s a just a few ways they go above and beyond their labels and certifications to truly provide for their farmers.

Trees for Life:

This program gives thousands of olive trees to farmers starting out, as well as smaller farmers, and those whose trees or lands have been destroyed by Israeli Occupation. In the past 10 years, the project has planted more than 100,000 trees!

Green Track Palestine:

This is a grassroots campaign to convert Palestinian farmers tractors to run on vegetable oil, specifically using falafel oil which is plentiful in the Palestinian market. This project will be environmentally responsible, support a renewable resource, enhance waste management of used oil, and free farmers from dependence on costly fuel.


The micro-loan project of the Palestine Fair Trade Association is designed to enable small producers with little or no resources, especially women, to become producers and benefit from the fair trade returns. Many of Canaan’s products— like couscous,za’atar, and olive oil soap— started this way.


Canaan Scholarships is part of an investment in leadership benefitting farmers communities. The scholarship extends four years of tuition at local Palestinian universities to children of famers who show leadership potential and commitment to community service. Recipients committee to volunteer in community service programs for the four summers during their college years. Since 2007, 40 scholarships have been awarded!

Center for Organic Research and Extension (CORE):

The Canaan Center for Organic Research and Extension Center, is a non-profit that will serve as a national central for conducting research, education and extension activities to promote organic production and marketing of fruits, vegetables and grains in Palestine.

To see all Canaan Fair Trade products, click here.

All photos by Canaan Fair Trade.

February 26, 2015
by morgan
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Warm and Comforting Golden Cornbread Muffins

There are just some  foods that scream comfort, don’t you agree? For us, that’s a big bowl of chili and warm cornbread. Luckily, you can bring this comfort with you anywhere you go when you make these individual cornbread muffins from Women’s Bean Project.
Women’s Bean Project employs women who come from backgrounds of chronic unemployment and poverty, and helps them develop the work and interpersonal skills needed to function in the work place in and community. This cornbread is just one of the variety of Women’s Bean Project products we offer in our seasonal subscription and online marketplace.


One of the great things about Women’s Bean Project is that all of their gourmet mixes are easy to make without compromising taste. For the cornbread you’ll need two eggs, 1 and 1/3 cups milk, and 1/4 cooking oil of your choice. To start, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Then combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until moistened. Use more cooking oil to lightly grease the individual muffin circles.
And pour batter into each circle. Bake for 20-25 minutes and let cool.
Bring these tasty cornbread muffins with you to work, on a picnic, pack them in your kid’s lunch or enjoy them at home. Pair with the old fashioned chili also found in this season’s Winter box for a true comfort food feast.

January 8, 2015
by morgan
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2014 in Review

2014 began with a bang when Upworthy and Food, Inc. shared our video.

We were shipping the Winter box at that time— people loved it!

We tackled how Trade as One is doing our part to reduce waste (Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here).

And in March, we started shipping the Spring box, featuring Quinoa as our highlighted product. Photo by @frustratedfarmgirl on Instagram.

In May we got an email from a college student named Mikayla, telling us how much she loved being a subscriber because amongst a busy schedule of classes and work, she knew she was doing good for the world through subscribing. With that, our seasonal Subscriber Snapshot was born.

Trade as One was featured in several reviews–Here are some of our favorites from Freedom by Design Project, The Homesteady, Deliberate Life Magazine (available for download in iTunes), and The Note Passer. We also made it on The Art of Simple’s Ethical Shopping list!

In June we started shipping the Summer box, and then took it on a little road trip, and to a tea party.

Subscribers continue to share their Trade as One box on Instagram. We’re always a little giddy when we see things like this! (photo by @lyssapete). Share your Trade as One box using #tradeasone

We shared about the Russo family, and how the Trade as One box fuels them on their world changing adventures in our second subscriber snapshot.

And in September we started shipping the Fall box, a favorite of many! We can see why– it had Dark Chocolate Almond Spread! It put Nutella to shame.

We also got crafty in the kitchen, creating tasty things like Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Double Chocolate Brownies.

In December, we started shipping the Winter box featuring Peace Blend Coffee. Their story is one of peace and restoration in a Ugandan community where Christians, Muslims, and Jewish neighbors set aside their history of conflict to unite against low coffee prices. Their story reminds us all that peace is possible!

Thank you for a great 2014! 

December 16, 2014
by morgan
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Subscriber Snapshot: Meet Lina

Welcome to our Subscriber Snapshot, where we highlight some of the amazing subscribers who really “get” everything Trade as One is about. To learn more about the Trade as One subscription, head to our website here.

 Meet Lina: Coffee expert, community builder, and Trade as One subscriber

We’ve known about Lina for awhile. She’s the General Manager at a our favorite local Santa Cruz coffee shop called The Abbey, where we come to enjoy coffee, and occasionally do Trade as One photo shoots in their beautiful setting. We love The Abbey for their great coffee, good music, and commitment to building community in the Santa Cruz area. Through our relationship with them, we learned that Lina is also a Trade as One subscriber, and we couldn’t wait to talk to her.

Lina is passionate about good food and good community and loves how a simple cup of coffee or meal with others brings people together. She loves to travel and become immersed in new cultures. These are all good reasons to subscribe to Trade as One, but her reason for subscribing goes much deeper than that.

Her Story

Lina’s grandparents were field workers all over California. Growing up, Lina would hear stories about their fight for ethical treatment and strikes for fair wages. She says this awareness of the importance to consume ethically was further cemented when she spent some time living abroad and seeing first hand the positive difference ethically made products make in the lives of producers and families.

Lina says it best when she said “The world is much smaller than you would imagine and our purchasing power has long reaching effects.”  See what we mean when we say our subscribers “get it”? They understand that little choices towards consuming ethically everyday are a part of a bigger picture. We are connected deeply to our purchases, and through Fair Trade, those purchases positively impact the world. This is especially why we focus on producer stories at Trade as One, so you can see the farmers and producers behind each and every product, and hear directly from them how Fair Trade is helping them out of poverty. Lina says learning of these stories and seeing the heart behind our producers is one of her favorite aspect of the subscription. When asked about her favorite product, she said she loves the green olives and the chocolate, but her all time favorite is the Mascobado Cane Sugar from the Philippines because “its vanilla flavor is so unique and delicate.”

When asked more about how the subscription and how she uses it she said “I thought that by subscribing to Trade as One i would be able to make a lasting and consistent change in the lives of producers as well as educating my family regarding eating and using ethically sourced products. It is always so great to reach into my cupboard and grab a product that i am sure that was sourced, produced and imported ethically.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


November 30, 2014
by morgan
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The Story of Coffee

Each season, Trade as One highlights one product and producer in our Fair Trade food subscription (Take 10% off through December 5th with the code GRATEFUL10). We’ve previously featured everything from rice and quinoa, shea butter, and a variety of fruits and nuts. This season, we are excited to feature Thanksgiving Coffee roasters and their Peace Blend coffee. It’s a story of hope and restoration over a communal love of coffee, and it’s one we couldn’t wait to share!

In the face of coffee farmers being cheated at every turn, Fair Trade coffee offers a chance for farmers and families to improve their livelihood. Trade as One’s producer, Thanksgiving Coffee, is a family-run artisan coffee roaster in Northern California that buys fair trade, sustainably-produced coffee from small farms and cooperatives around the world.

 While all the stories from Thanksgiving Coffee–whose farms span from Latin and South America to Africa and Indonesia–bring tales of restoration and hope to coffee farmers around the world; it’s their Peace Blend Coffee that really brings home the power of Fair Trade:

 Paul Katzeff, CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee explains that, before he even tasted the coffee, he knew he wanted the story.  He got a call from a volunteer within the Jewish Bantus of Uganda, describing the newly formed cooperative “There are Muslims and Christians in this coffee cooperative,” she continued. “They are all working together. It’s one community. The co-op president is Jewish, the vice-president is Christian, and the treasurer is Muslim.”

 It all began in 2003 when JJ Keki, a Ugandan coffee farmer walked door to door asking his Jewish, Christian, and Muslim neighbors to leave behind a history of conflict, and unite to face their struggle against poverty caused by low coffee prices. Their community of 3rd and 4th generation coffee farmers were struggling to make a living off the low prices offered by the local market. They formed a cooperative to build lasting prosperity in their village and to spread a message of peace throughout the world. They name the cooperative Mirembe Kawomera, which means “Delicious Peace” in the Luganda language. More than 10 years since these humble beginnings, the Peace Kawomera Cooperative has over 1,000 members and farmers receive prices four times higher than what they were previously paid. This enables them to send their children to school, start savings accounts, and reinvest in their farms. Together, the farmers have succeeded in doing something that none thought was possible: bring peace, restoration and cooperation to their communities through their love of coffee.

 While coffee is not usually included in our seasonal box, we are delighted to provide a small sampler of Peace Blend Coffee (which Trade as One has been selling since 2007!) courtesy of Thanksgiving Coffee Company. When you drink our Peace Blend, you can– as Paul Katzeff, CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee, puts it– “toast ‘peace’ each morning over a cup of Mirembe Kawomera coffee!“

Get the Winter subscription box here, or give a one time Winter box here (it’s called the Gift of Good!) Add two bags of coffee– the Peace Blend coffee you just read about and another seasonal blend– here. Through Friday, December 5th, take 10% off the first box of the subscription or the Gift of Good using the code GRATEFUL10.

November 26, 2014
by morgan
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Add these Simple Fair Trade Recipes to your Thanksgiving Feast

Tomorrow is the day where we gather around loved ones, give thanks for the time together, and eat lots of food. Isn’t that why Thanksgiving is so great? We’ve come up with three delicious recipes to add to your Thanksgiving feast, all using products from the Trade as One Fall subscription box. The recipes are savory, they’re sweet, and they’re downright delicious. But the best part is that by including these products in your Thanksgiving meal you’re sharing the power of Fair Trade with those you love most while honoring the hard work of the farmers and producers who made each and every product. So let’s get started, shall we?

Sarah’s Spicy Spit Pea Soup

This Split Pea Soup is made by Women’s Bean Project, and organization who works to bring chronically unemployed and incarcerated women out of poverty and into employment through making gourmet food.

 Here’s what you do: Gather the Split Pea Soup, 4-6 carrots, one medium onion, 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, and 2 cups water, and spices (included).

Rinse the beans in cold water, and put them in a large pot. Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about one hour. While the beans are cooking, chop and saute the carrots and the onions in olive oil until tender. Once the peas are tender, add the carrots, onions, and spice packet. Mix well. Tip: to make the soup even more spicy, add a bit of curry powder to taste!

See? This soup is…

Roasted Vegetables with Honey and Rooibos Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

This Balsamic Vinegar is made in South Africa by Cape Treasures, a brand of Turqle Trading and a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. They ensure producers maintain fair labour and wage practices, and pay 2.5% of the export price of this product to the Fair Trade Trust for the education of the workers and their families.

To start, gather some of your favorite vegetables! We gathered carrots, onions, brussel sprouts, turnips, and beets. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit, and start cutting and quartering vegetables evenly. Spread vegetables on a baking pan and drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper.

Toss them in the oven and let them cook for 30-45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. Once vegetables are tender, remove from oven and drizzle with Honey and Rooibos Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.

Cindy’s Sinfully Chocolate Brownies

These chocolate Brownies are nice, fudgy, and sweet, but the lives they positively impact make them even sweeter. They’re also produced by Women’s Bean Project, where in addition to employment, women in the program are given life skills and job readiness training so that when they graduate for the program, they’re equipped with the necessary skills for a new life! All of the women behind Women’s Bean Project products sign their name on the packages, making it easy to give a quick thanks to the person behind your brownies before digging in.

To start. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather 4-6 tablespoons of butter (use 6 for a more fudge like texture seen in the photos), two eggs, and the brownie mix. Lightly heat the butter until soft and mostly melted, and add both eggs. Mix well. Slowly add brownie mix until well blended. Grease an 8×8 pan and add brownie mix. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Removed and let cool. Tip: spread Barefoot and Chocolate Dark Chocolate and Almond Spread with Sea Salt for an even more delicious treat!)

Want to give this as a gift?

All of the products found here are from the Trade as One subscription. To give this as a one time gift, check out our Gift of Good! It has everything found in the Trade as One Fall subscription, but without the subscription– it was last year’s best selling gift! Check out our Pinterest board to see everything in this box.

Note: we switch to our Winter Box next month, so if you want to give the Fall Box as the Gift of Good, order before December 1st!

November 20, 2014
by morgan
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Trade as One’s Holiday Gift Guide

Gifts from Trade as One are given with meaning, used with purpose, and made with respect for the farmers and producers behind them. Below you’ll find an assortment of this year’s gift options. They range in price, size, and taste, but one thing remains the same throughout: every one who made these products were paid a fair wage for their work. With that money they’re able to provide for their families, put food on their tables, and send their children to school. They’re gifts that do good for all. 

The Gift of Good.

 Think of it as a one time subscription box, but without the subscription. This was last year’s best selling gift from Trade as One! It’s full of various products from around the world, made by producers who are visionaries in their field, and farmers who are paid a fair wage for their work. If you order before the December 1st, the Gift of Good reflect items in the Fall subscription box (see it here). If ordered after December 1st, it will reflect the Winter subscription box. Price: $99, shipping included. Add two bags of Fair Trade coffee to the Gift of Good here.


Other Best Sellers.

1. Coffee two pack: Nothing says Merry Christmas like a pack of Fair Trade coffee to wake up to every morning! Contains our signature Peace Blend Coffee plus a seasonal selection. $25

2. Olive Oil pack: Not one, but two tasty infused olive oils from Canaan Fair Trade! $28.99

3. Spa Pack: A gift set of handcrafted Alaffia skin care products. $30

4. Chocolate sampler: Enjoy our favorite flavors of Divine chocolates with this popular sampler pack. $14.95

5. Baking Treats Mixes: For your baking friends, these brownies, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and cream scones are sure to fill their home with sweet smells and even tastier treats. $15.50

October 30, 2014
by morgan
1 Comment

Flavors of Fall: Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk and Latte

It’s that time of year again, and Pumpkin Spice flavored everything is everywhere you look. The sad part? Most of the Pumpkin Spice products found in conventional grocery stores even contain pumpkin. This is even true for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes from a popular chain coffee shop.

The good news? You can bring the spices of the season into your home without compromising your Fair Trade and real food standards. Below is a simple recipe for Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk, with instructions on making your own Pumpkin Spice Latte using the Fair Trade Almonds in this season’s Trade as One subscription box! Enjoy!



  • 1 cup Fair Trade Almonds*
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey or molasses. To sweeten naturally, use dates instead.

* Included in The Trade as One Fall box


  •  Soak 1 cup almonds in filtered water overnight
  • Drain and rinse almonds
  • Place almonds in a high speed blender with 2 cups filtered water
  • Add 1 cup pumpkin
  • If you choose to use dates instead of honey or molasses, place them in the blender now and omit final step
  • Blend thoroughly and strain through cheesecloth or nut milk bag
  • Add cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, vanilla. Whisk thoroughly, or blend.
  • Add sweeter to taste

Note: Keeps in refrigerator for up to a week. Lightly shake before each use, as nut milk separates over time.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Recipe

  •  Make two espresso shots or 1 cup strong coffee**
  •  Heat 1 cup Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk in a saucepan or warm with espresso steamer
  • Combine coffee and milk; sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy by a warm fire***
** Included in this season’s box for Coffee Club subscribers!
*** Warm fire is optional, though highly encouraged.



October 20, 2014
by morgan
1 Comment

The poor want jobs + a Fall Box giveaway!

Did you know many farmers and food producers aren’t paid enough for their work to feed themselves and their families? Imagine working your whole life farming a food staple such as rice, while still returning home from the fields every day hungry.
It’s a reality that much of the world faces, especially in small faming communities. This is why we see Fair Trade food as a viable solution to bring people out of poverty. The poor don’t want handouts, they want jobs. Jobs that provide a fair wage so they can do everything we expect to do with our wages, like provide food, shelter, education, and medical care for our families– all of which Fair Trade premiums provide.

Meet Phakphum, and Alter Eco rice farmer

A great example of a Trade as One producer who is leading the way in community development and sustainable farming in traditionally impoverished areas is Alter Eco. Their cooperatives span from Bolivia to Thailand, and we’re proud to include their Ruby Red Rice and Rainbow Quinoa in this season’s subscription box!

Their Surin Cooperative is in Thailand, several hours away from the loud noises and fast paced lifestyle of Bangkok, Thailand’s largest city. Here in Surin, the majority of people are farmers, like Phakphum. He grew up in Thailand’s  northeast region, where he has been working in his family’s field since he was seven years old. When he was 13, he dropped out of school to help his single mother with farm work. The family used to struggle greatly with the financial imbalance of conventional rice farming practices, making a meager profit after extensive fertilizer, labor and herbicide costs to maintain yield of the depleted soil.

Now Phakphum no longer worries about losing his ancestor’s land because he, his sister Sohm Rien, and his mother Coo-eye represent one of the 7,500 families currently selling organic Fair Trade rice through a farmer cooperative. The Fair Trade price has allowed Phakphum to make the three-year transition to organic farming. Subsequently, his pesticide related respiratory illness has subsided, and the health of his fields have improved. He has not only been able to pay of debts he incurred under conventional trade, but also has invested in more land and buffaloes.

Phakphum is the leader of his village committee through which farmers annually set the rice price and enforce organic standards. This cooperative structure also gives Phakphum and his neighbors yearly dividends and a community savings fund.

Most important to Phakphum has been the return of his dignity. As he looks out over a golden rice field he says, “I like to be self-reliant. Rely on my two hands and my head. It’s safe for my life and other people’s lives.”

Ready for the Giveaway?

Not only is October Fair Trade Month, but we’ve just passed 10,000 Facebook fans! We figured it’s only appropriate to celebrate this month and milestone by sharing a Trade as One Fall subscription box with you, so you can experience the delicious flavors of Fair Trade while knowing each and every farmer behind these products where given a fair wage for their work. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway