(This article is sponsored by Level Ground Trading.)
Let’s set aside the more stressful elements of the holiday season for just a moment, and consider some of the good to come out of this time of year. Yes it’s cold outside, but at the risk of sounding cliché, perhaps that’s why we need to work a little bit harder to warm our hearts.
The holiday spirit has us thinking about giving. And we’re not just talking about the exchange of presents.
Giving means so much more than that. Consider how we give the benefit of the doubt to certain family members in a bid to bring everyone together; or how we give our time to Christmas parties so that we can get to know our colleagues better; or, as the year comes to a close, how we start to think about giving up bad habits like drinking wine on weeknights, making social commitments we can’t keep, Netflix binge-watching more than three episodes in a row…
We could go on, but we’re not going to because we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t bring up New Year’s resolutions. None of us need that pressure. Or the guilt. No thank you. Forget we said it.
But what about giving back? What are we doing to be better global citizens? We’re aware that’s a loaded question. And, we don’t want to add to your anxiety, but it still applies even after the clock strikes midnight on December 31.
We can get so caught up in the holiday frenzy that it can be easy to forget there’s a whole world out there and that the colour theme of our Christmas décor really doesn’t matter in the large scheme.
But the large scheme can be a dangerous path to go down, too. If not an overwhelming one.
So let’s give ourselves a break. Even if you feel small, that’s OK. The large scheme is made up of lots of tiny parts. And there are little things you can do every day that make a big impact.
Think about how quickly our recycling piles up after only one week.
And that’s just one example. But what if there was something you could do that was as easy as your morning cup of coffee? Or the healing cup of tea as you endure the season’s second cold?
Sounds like a piece of cake? Well there’s that, too. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it!
That’s the thinking behind Level Ground Trading which focuses on making the everyday consumables like coffee, tea, cane sugar, dried fruit, cacao nibs, heirloom rice, spices, vanilla, and coconut oil, socially sustainable and Fair Trade.
Level Ground started small, too. When the company was founded in 1997, the first relationship was with small-scale coffee farmers in Colombia. And since then the founders’ vision to alleviate poverty in developing countries through direct fair trade has remained the same.
But its impact has grown. This year, Level Ground is proud to celebrate 20 years of partnering with farmers in developing countries. And the company now imports the annual harvest of 5,000 farmers in 10 countries.
In addition, the majority of the purchase price goes straight back into the community funding education for farmers’ children, infrastructure, or capacity building, depending on the relationship. And for the founders of Level Ground, they find reward in giving back.
The philosophy at Level Ground is centred on creating mutually beneficial relationships, so storytelling is key. On each package, you will find a farmer’s face and name. And each farmer is paid for the use of their photo.
For consumers, it gives us the opportunity to make an ethical choice on the products we’re consuming every day. Suddenly, our Monday morning caffeine hit seems even more vital.
Furthermore, the quality is there. Level Ground goes directly to the source, cultivates relationships, and receives the very best products in return.
So the next time you’re having a hard week and feeling overwhelmed about the part you’re playing in the world, might we suggest you sit down with a nice cup of Level Ground tea and know that you’re making a difference? It seems that the Brits are on to something when they say that a brew can solve a multitude of problems.
Level Ground truly gives a whole new significance to Fair Trade. And if that’s not food—and a nice hot beverage— for thought, we don’t know what is.