Getting my fix…..ethically

I’ve been banging on about fair trade for years. Luckily for the 3 remaining blog readers I have, it’s not often on here I talk about it.

I’ve been a fan of fair trade for a long time, for a few years it was even part of my job to talk to young people about the benefits of fair trade as we work out our role in global poverty.

If you wonder why I like fair trade, why I sell fair trade stuff and what gives me the loose and unformed stool about other ‘ethical’ models you can read my old post here.

This post is about my addiction to coke.

Whilst spending many hours of my life blabbing on about the poor and fair trade pretty much every day for the past decade I’ve also had a coke. I love it, an ice cold coke even on a cold day is a great tasting beverage. Sometime people would question my ethics of talking one thing then having a coke after. I’d try and justify it by giving examples of visiting poor communities and them giving me a coke too. Or say that Coke in Australia isn’t as bad as coke in other parts of the world. Whatever, I didn’t care. I like the drink, everyone has their guilty pleasures so I’m gonna drink it. As I get older I still like coke, there is still something really nice about a cold coke on hot day or the perfect companion to a dinner of spaghetti bologanise. But with age aslo comes wisdom, and for me the wisdom seems to be coming a bit later than a lot of people around me. I have to care about the ethics of what I consume. I can’t search out fair trade undies, and tea and chocolate and cotton but then crack open a coke and fell good about myself.

A few years ago there was a ethical cola released, I can’t remember it’s name but I can remember it tasted disgusting.

In the middle of last year I got wind of a Banana company in NZ that it imports fair trade bananas. Well they were gearing up to release a fair trade cola.

As you know I’m New Zealand’s biggest fan and would move there in a heart beat is there was opportunity. I love everything about the place. So not only was there a fair trade cola on the horizon it was also coming from NZ…..Wahooooooo.

I sent pestering emails to the company probably causing them to add me to a ‘friggen crazy guy again’ email filter. I wanted to try some, stuff NZ come and sell it to me in Sydney, let me sell it, let me be your Aussie CEO etc etc etc

This was before even tasting it but the NZ connection assured me it would be good because the only bad thing to come out of NZ is Russel Crowe.

It’s called Karma Cola and it began popping up in fancy cafes around NZ. Luckily some friends of mine were heading home from NZ to the UK via Sydney.

So i emailed them a list of all the cafes in the South island that sold Karma Cola and asked them to bring me some.

They arrived in Sydney and we arranged to have lunch together. THEY WAITED UNTIL AFTER LUNCH AND SOME PLAY TIME IN THE PARK FOR MY SON TO HAND OVER THE COLA!!!!!

I took it home, I chilled it, I drank a bottle.

The first few sips I didn’t like at all. ‘This doesn’t taste like coke’.

I had to get my brain to work pretty hard to tell myself ‘This is a totally different drink’.

Being the selfless person that I am, I gave the second bottle to my brother in law.

Then months and months of nothing.

I hit the social media, knowing that the email filter would be in place and got in on banter and commenting on posts etc.

Then they starting posting about Karma Cola being available in a few cafes in Melbourne… Melbourne WTF??????

more months and more tweets.

Then the day came, facebook posts about Sydney cafes stocking Karma Cola.

Blow the cafes, I don’t want to go all the way to Surry Hills to get one bottle.

So I sent a message asking if ti was possible to buy a case or two. (by this stage that had also release a fair trade ginger beer called Gingerella)

they kindly gave me a contact and within 24hrs there was a friendly delivery man at my door with 2 cases of the Cola and 1 of the Gingerella.

I loaded up the fridge and waited for them to chill.

Eventually they were ready!

Karma Cola is amazing, every bottle I drink the better it tastes. the Gingerella is amazing too a nice smooth ginger beer.

I’m hooked and not just because of the flavour, It’s a drink that embraces my belief in fairness.


Do I still like Coke, yeah I still like a coke and I’m sure from time to time I’ll drink it. But this stuff is amazing and unique and who cares if it tastes different when it’s helping the poor and marginalised. Now I can drink it in total appreciation of it’s own flavour not comparing it to coke too.

The real thing…

Now how about that Aussie CEO position?

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