Bringing Fair Trade to Your Daily Grind

Bringing Fair Trade to Your Daily Grind

Three coffee shops near U of T’s St. George campus that support fair trade


Photo: Goldstruck Coffee.


If you are anything like me at all, you live your academic career sustained by coffee. How could you not? The university is hedged by coffee shops, from your quintessential doughnut shops to your independent ones. As a result of our growing dependence on coffee to get ourselves through the day, the demand for coffee beans has risen profusely. For that reason, farmers find themselves subject to exploitation as they, more often than not, receive a small portion of the profits while their crops are at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions. To combat this issue, a system of fair trade has been put into practice. Fair trade works to support coffee farmers and communities, while concurrently reducing the negative environmental impact. You can help by visiting an establishment that supports fair trade next time you need your caffeine fix. Fortunately, a number of these coffee shops can readily be found near campus and to help, I have comprised a list of the top three coffee shops. Not only do they offer the option of fair trade coffee, but all three shops are open later than most cafés, making them the perfect place for a study date.

1) The Green Beanery

Located at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, The Green Beanery prides itself on its environmentalist values and product quality. It offers sessions to help educate the public and promote policies which work toward supporting coffee growers and local economies. The café also sells various types of coffeemakers and beans so as to encourage its patrons to bring part of The Green Beanery home with them. The coffee shop advertises its Wi-Fi-free policy, so as to create an environment which encourages its visitors to be present. The Green Beanery is anything but your conventional coffee house. 

2) Moonbean Coffee Company

A not-so-quite-hidden gem within Kensington Market, the micro-roaster Moonbean Coffee Company is a local favourite. The company not only offers an extensive selection of brewed coffee and loose-leaf teas, but also has their own liquor license. Moonbean strives for accessibility, as it offers an array of gluten-free and vegan snack options. The café is perfect for those days when all you would like to do is de-stress and relax on a patio. 

3) Goldstruck Coffee

Goldstruck Coffee, found in the heart of Yorkville, prides itself on its quality. What makes this coffee shop experience unique are the signature drinks that it offers. If feeling adventurous you should certainly try its Cayenne Latte. Goldstruck is pleasing to the eye, and certainly wins you over with its Klondike-aesthetic. 

When in need of your next coffee fix, I highly recommend visiting one of these three coffee shops that support fair trade. Not only does fair trade mean you get to enjoy quality coffee, but it also means you can feel good doing so knowing that you are helping empower small farms and supporting local communities. 

Leanne Grosbeck is an Associate Opinions Editor for The Mike. She is a fourth-year St. Mike’s student studying English, History, and Indigenous Studies.