Coffee, chocolate and steak—go

The packaged meats and fruits we buy at the market started with someone else toiling to grow our foods. We don’t have to take that work for granted as long as we, as consumers, decide to choose fair-trade products.

Fair trade is a global social movement. Its goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainable farming. By establishing cooperatives and processes, this life-changing movement allows the producers the opportunity to support their families and give back to their growing communities.

For commodities such as coffee and chocolate, fair-trade organizations create trading partnerships that are based on certified standards, on dialogue, transparency and respect. These standards are followed by the growers, the buyers and the manufacturers. Their goal is to create greater equity in international trade for small producers. Most important, fair trade practices prohibit child or forced labor, which can be prevalent in the growing industries.

By choosing to buy products with the “Fair Trade” label, we are making a difference in the lives of people we may never meet but who are, in a sense, part of our daily lives. By supporting the Fair Trade Organization, we support the people who grow the things we love; they can build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

To get started, buy Fair Trade. Become a fan of fair-trade certified on Facebook/ Instagram using @fairtradecertified. Locally, look for Connecticut Fair Trade businesses who are setting the standards for living locally with a global view. You can read more about fair trade at

To entice you’re new buying habits, and in honor of October being Fair Trade Month, here is a recipe from me to you.

Coffee & Chocolate Steak Rub

This rub adds depth and a subtle bitter undertone that is really delish!

2 TBS fine ground coffee (not flavored) suggested: Shearwater’s Fair Trade Coffee

1 TBS unsweetened Fair Trade cocoa powder –

½ Tsp. cinnamon

1.5 TBS extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp ground pepper

¼ tsp ground cumin (optional)



In bowl or plate, combine coffee, cocoa powder & cinnamon and set aside.

Rub the steak with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.

Coat the steak with the coffee-cocoa mixture, pressing it into the meat.

Grill to your preference.


About the author: Roe Chlala is the co-owner of Festivities Events, The Art of Celebrating, a full-service catering and events firm in Fairfield County since 1984. See more at