Every day when I pick my daughter up from preschool I ask her what she ate at snack time. Last week one of her favorite preschool snacks was a salad with pears and strawberries. At her back-to-school night the school chef and art teacher also mentioned that the kids all loved the salad. So at home this week I decided to also add pear and berries to one of our salads. With nutty quinoa, the combination creates the perfect fall salad.


I happened to have a box of Near East Rosemary and Olive Oil Quinoa along with other goodies from Fair Trade USA that added just the right amount of earthiness to this sweet fruity salad. Fair Trade USA had reached out to me about trying some fair trade certified products, and I agreed, as I was interested in learning more about what exactly fair trade means. I have heard about the horrific ways  some farmers are treated around the world, particularly with cocoa, coffee, and bananas, and would rather support companies that treat their farmers fairly.

What is Fair Trade? 
Fair Trade USA says, “Fair Trade goods are just that. Fair. From far-away farms to your shopping cart, products that bear our logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. We help farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. We’re a nonprofit, but we don’t do charity. Instead, we teach disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.”

What do you think? Would you buy one product over another because of a “certified fair trade” label? In my mind, getting a high quality product and knowing you’re helping the people who made that product is a win-win.

Pear, Raspberry, and Rosemary Quinoa Salad
printer friendly recipe 
Serves 4-6

5 ounces favorite salad greens, rinsed and dried (arugula, baby spinach, baby salad mix, etc.)
1 cup cooked Rosemary and Olive Oil Quinoa (such as Near East brand) or quinoa cooked with 1 tbsp chopped rosemary and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 large pear, diced 
1 cup raspberries  
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
Place greens in a large bowl. Add quinoa, pear, and raspberries. Whisk together oil and vinegar and drizzle over salad. Toss gently to combine. Season with freshly cracked pepper if desired. 

Read about the delicious Fair Trade products I was lucky enough to sample and the good they are doing after the jump. My husband devoured the Kopali Chocolate Covered Banana before I could even get to them! Visit Fair Trade USA for more information.

SunSpire Organic Chocolate Chips: We recommend baking with these delicious chocolate chips to add a little bit of Fair Trade to your desserts! 
Three Twins: The first organic ice cream made with Fair Trade Certified ingredients.
TCHO x 4: TCHO is serious about chocolate: from knowing where their Fair Trade Certified cacao comes from to re-imagining what it means to taste chocolate. You’ll find yourself using words like “fruity,” “citrusy,” or “nutty” to describe this flavor experience. You’ll simply have to see for yourself! 
Kopali Chocolate Banana: Kopali took a timeless flavor combination to a whole new level: bananas covered in Fair Trade Certified single-origin chocolate from Peru. Now that’s a healthy treat to enjoy! 
Near East Quinoa Blends: A balanced blend of Fair Trade Certified quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) and whole grain brown rice for a delicious, high-protein meal that helps fund organic conversion, leadership training and infrastructure improvements in rural Bolivia.
Cissé Trading Co Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon Hot Cocoa: Cissé (pronounced “see-say”) brings you gourmet single origin Fair Trade Certified cocoa from the Dominican Republic. But this isn’t just any hot cocoa, it has a special pastry chef twist – try out the dark chocolate and cinnamon! 
Just Love Coffee Roasters: Just Love Coffee Roasters combines their love for specialty Fair Trade Certified coffee and helping those in need. For every cup you drink, they donate a portion of their proceeds to adopting families, non-profit organizations, and the arts. 
Traditional Medicinals Organic Fair Trade Nighty Night Tea: Organic Nighty Night is an aromatic balance of slightly minty, mildly bitter and sweet, with notes of spice and citrus – the perfect way to relax at the end of your day. Traditional Medicinals Tea Mug with Cover: Curl up with your favorite cup of Fair Trade tea with this cute Traditional Medicinals tea mug. It even comes with a handy cover to make sure your tea stays warm!
Glory Bee Fair Trade Comapi Honey: This rich Fair Trade Certified honey is produced in the Caatinga Scrub Forests of Brazil and has helped fund the construction of a local school, a community center, and new projects around safe drinking water.