A Letter from the Owners, May 20th 2020 – What’s in it for you?

Hi Root Cellar Community,

Do you know what Fair Trade is? Do you care?

It is such a gift to not HAVE to know what it means. For many it’s just ‘the more expensive stuff’ at the market. We live in a country where Fair Trade is the only trade (okay, this is a big convo for another day). We also live in a country where we have the luxury of enjoying imported food without giving it a second thought. Sadly, many consumers in fact favour imported produce, scratch that MOST consumers. Statistics don’t lie and Avocados & Bananas are among the top selling produce item in Canada, and yes, at The Root Cellar. We knew a guy in Osoyoos once who grew bananas in a greenhouse in the early 2000’s… other than his I can vouch that every banana consumed here is grown outside of North America.

So yes, we don’t HAVE to care about Fair Trade, but we SHOULD.

We have always urged you to choose locally grown produce & products at every opportunity. We remain steadfastly on that soapbox, louder and prouder than ever. It has always been the case that our economy needs us making more conscientious food choices, but our pandemic experience is shining a big fat spotlight on the importance of ‘shopping local,’ not as a catch phrase or a thing we do when it’s sunny and we happen to be near a farmers market, but as a priority.

But off that soapbox, and back to Fair Trade. Since we are learning to be more mindful with our shopping dollars, and since we can’t eat all-local, all-the-time, and since our palettes have grown accustomed to yummy imported things like chocolate and coffee, lets please continue to broaden our horizons and our priorities to include Fair Trade Products. Those in developing countries where so much YUMMY comes from, who are still fighting for appropriate labour and trade conditions need us here in this privileged country which we have never felt more lucky to call home, to get behind the importance of transparency, respect and equity that all humans deserve.

I KNOW it’s more expensive. I also know that greater demand drives pricing, and when we’re able, we need to increase demand of products that we know to be brought to our entitled shelves by ethical means.

Because every coffee bean makes a difference, and because if we’ve learned anything at all from these past 10 weeks, it’s that what we CAN control is our humanity.