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The Top 10 Green Issues of 2008

How Fair Trade Works
Is your cup of coffee worth every cent?
Is your cup of coffee worth every cent? Steffers

­­When you buy a cup of coffee, where does the money go? After everyone else gets their cut, how much cash actually makes it back to the peop­le who grew and harvested the beans? As consumers begin to pay more attention to the power of their purchases, some are choosing to better support the bottom of the production line -- even if it means paying a little bit more.

The fair trade movement aims to strengthen the living conditions of low-paid farmers and producers of basic goods like coffee, cotton and rice by paying them fair wages. By cutting out the middleman, fair trade organizations are able to generate more direct profits for those who need it most while still supervising the production and certification of goods. And because consumers usually want a superior product if they're paying more money, many fair trade products are high quality or organic. To learn more about fair trade, read How Fair Trade Works.