Approximately 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily around the world, Americans consuming 400 million of those cups! Coffee is the 2nd largest commodity traded after oil. To say coffee is big business is an understatement, but there is an ugly reality to the coffee many of us are drinking. Coffee farmers are being exploited with unfair pricing and the environment is being decimated.
Many coffee farmers are being taken advantage of because they are small, and they don’t have access to a larger market. They end up taking what is being offered because they have no other choice. In addition, growing coffee is incredibly labor intensive.
I had the opportunity to work with some villagers in Muhanga Rwanda who grew coffee for the local market. I picked coffee, removed the coffee fruit, allowed it to dry in the sun, picked the skin off, roasted, grounded, and finally brewed it. Oh my goodness, I was exhausted by the end. When I have a cup coffee today, I have incredible respect for all the work it took to allow me to enjoy it in the comfort of my home.
How do we level the playing field for the coffee farmers? This is where fair trade coffee steps into the picture. Fair trade pays coffee farmers a fair price that benefits the farmer as well as his community. I am passionate about the 2 ministries we partner with, Hemisphere Coffee Roasters and Singing Rooster. I know the founders and not only are they paying a fair wage and helping develop their communities, but they also have a Kingdom focus.
I would like you to meet Diego Chavez from Nicaragua. He is the farmer who brings us Café Diego, Jungle Nut, and Jamaican Me Crazy. His coffee is also used in our milk and dark chocolate infused with coffee. If you ever feel your faith is lagging, you need to hear Diego’s story. He was living in Canada when he felt God call him to go back to his home country of Nicaragua. His journey was difficult and there was a time where he almost lost everything, but he stayed true to the vision God gave him. Today he has helped plant 26 churches and 60% of the ministry budget comes from the sale of his coffee.
Let’s head to Haiti and talk about Singing Rooster coffee. This ministry gathers many small farmers in the mountains to supply their coffee. They pay farmers double fair trade requirements, help train them in better growing practices, and have planted hundreds of thousands coffee seedlings and fruit tree shade canopies in one of the most deforested nations on the planet. Last year as part of our Artisan Project, we donated 800 coffee seedlings to help after the latest earthquake.
We have coffee from around the world in light, medium, and dark roast, caffeinated and decaffeinated, whole bean or ground, and flavored and nonflavored. We also have dark hot chocolate! If love chocolate, we have dark chocolate from Haiti in plain, peppermint, and sea salt and milk and dark chocolate infused with coffee.
Many people often ask me how they can change the world. I tell them make small changes. Changing small things add up. If we all decided to be intentional in the coffee we drink every day, this would bring lasting change for the coffee farmers. They deserve to be fairly treated and our environment should be respected.
Let me know if I can help you choose the perfect bag of coffee or build you a custom gift bundle for that coffee lover in your life.