Millennials promote fair trade with coffee

Fair Trade coffee from A Happy Life

A Happy Life, a millennial-owned coffee bean distributor, generates the opportunity to get involved with Fair Trade and sustainability efforts while enjoying delicious roasted coffee from exotic countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia, Bolivia, and Costa Rica. The sustainable lifestyle brand ensures that farmers in developing countries receive 100% of the net profits they deserve for their products. This creates a much more sustainable way of living in the long run — not to mention, it’s just fair. On top of influencial humanitarian efforts, A Happy Life promotes the spread of one of the most essential aspects of life: happiness.

A Happy Life’s Mission

Vishal Patel, CEO, and Onyeka Obiocha, COO, envision a unified humanity in the future. The two millennial entrepreneurs hope to bridge communities around the world through their creation of A Happy Life. As expressed on its website, “Each and every one of our lives is inexplicably connected to one another; our actions not only affect the people in our immediate vicinity but touch the lives of people miles away.” This is precisely why A Happy Life prioritizes issues like Fair Trade and sustainability. Even our small everyday actions, like drinking a cup of coffee, have huge implications for others around the world. It’s time to take on this social responsibility.

“We envision a world where simple joys such as drinking a cup of coffee isn’t taken at the cost of hard, unjustly paid labor.” A Happy Life walks this talk. The impoverished farmers in developing countries come first. The coffees currently available for purchase are Ethiopian Dasta, Costa Rican Sonrisa, Tanzanian Furaha, and Bolivian Juspajara, which also comes in decaf. 100% of the profits from this organic coffee is dedicated to help the farmers develop innovative solutions to lift them out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Obiocha explains, “We go to the people who matter the most and that’s the people who grow the coffee for us.”

Obiocha says the most value lies in, “helping the people we’re working with feel like they’re part of their own success rather than sitting down and accepting charity handouts.” Obiocha is positive that, in the long run, the farmers will find genuine happiness knowing they worked hard to produce the coffee and deserve to be where they are now.

A Happy Life understands the importance of helping the farmers help themselves. In doing so, the farmers unleash their full potential and make a life for themselves and their families instead of being exploited by unfair trade.

Fair Trade coffee from A Happy Life

Obiocha tells MiLLENNiAL, “Fair Trade right now is very general. People need to know there are ways to improve it.” He explains that cooperatives are the intermediaries between farmers and importers. Some cooperatives succeed in helping farmers get what they need, like education and better farming practices, but others, fueled by greed, take advantage of the farmers. A Happy Life brings farmers into the global supply chain, but the business also acknowledges that there’s a lack of transparency as well as ways to improve that supply chain.

A Happy Life’s incredible mission has spread like wildfire since February 2014. Initially, the founders tested the products at local farmers markets before launching them into retail stores. After just eight months of grueling work, the company successfully added over 60 coffee shops, restaurants, and offices throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. But the vision doesn’t end there.

A Happy Life strives to bring happiness to local communities as well as communities around the globe. It’s a job easier said than done, but the masterminds behind the Happy Life movement orchestrated an exciting new addition to the company that’s projected to be launched as soon as December — the Happiness Lab.

Happiness Lab at the Grove

Imagine an inclusive space where people could collaborate on innovative ideas, share passions and common interests, and inspire each other to change the world in a total stress-free, happy environment. A savory sustainably sourced coffee on the side wouldn’t hurt either. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Happiness Lab at the Grove in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Grove, New Haven’s award-winning coworking space, in collaboration with the Happiness Lab, will bloom the world’s first coffee lounge and coworking space dedicated to pure happiness. The Grove cultivated a community of over 150 start ups, non-profits, social enterprises and freelancers, gaining significant recognition for economically influencing CT in just four years. The Happiness Lab will only benefit this positive work environment by providing private meeting rooms, a community conference room, power stations for all devices, ergonomic furniture, and most importantly, a happy environment to let the creative juices thrive.

Locally prepared vegan and vegetarian friendly pastries and sandwiches will be available at the Happiness Lab. Also, inspirational events will be held, including thought-provoking speakers, morning meditation, and live music.

Although the Happiness Lab to be launched in New Haven will be the first, it certainly won’t be the last. “We want everyone around the world to be intertwined by the Happiness Lab,” expresses Obiocha. “We want a Happiness Lab in New Haven to talk to a Happiness Lab in Cape Town. If they’re doing something cool in Cape Town, we want New Haven to know about it.” The determined business partners dream the Happiness Lab will spread internationally.

Your Turn

Fair Trade coffee from A Happy Life

Obiocha calls on all millennials to realize their social responsibilities and take action. He explains that he and his business partner have, “engrained social responsibility in our DNA.” If you don’t like unfair trade, take a stand. If you don’t agree with the current unsustainable living methods practiced globally, get involved in changing them.

“Millennials grew up seeing past generations do the wrong things,” Obiocha stresses. He says whether it’s the growing issue of economical crises, climate change, extreme wealth disparities, or even just the way both public and private corporations are run, millennials have front row seats to witness these problems. Now, it’s our turn to fix them. There’s no doubt in Obiocha’s mind that, “with the access to technology, community resources, and seeing all the bad ways of going about changing these things, we’re in the perfect position to improve it.”

Obiocha encourages Millennials to join the movement against unfair trade, and to those interested in joining the Happy Life movement e-mail him at Most importantly, he says to stay happy. And while you’re at it, add spreading happiness to the top of your priority list.

What do you think?

Written by Kelly Tatera

Kelly Tatera is an aspiring journalist at Syracuse University who dreams that one day her writing will shed light upon the injustice that occurs worldwide every day. Kelly grew up in various European countries, which she strongly believes contributed to her worldly outlook on life. It also helped her develop decent fluency in French, which she loves to speak to her friends because they have no idea what she’s saying. Her tips for success are: travel as much as you can, respect cultural differences, venture outside of the tourist traps, keep a Dream Journal, become a documentary buff, and always save room for dessert.

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