It’s fitting that “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” (Aug. 9) falls squarely in the middle of “National Coffee Month” (August). Nearly all our coffees come from indigenous communities around the world. The contributions of indigenous peoples to specialty coffee are exceptional, and we would have little to offer our customers without the hard work of people like the Ixil in the Guatemalan Highlands or the Gayo in the mountains of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. It seems that these people- who continue to work to protect their languages and cultures – are often forgotten by the rest of the world- their ancient histories lost in the modern melting pot of international business. We encourage you to take today and every day to learn more about the rich and vibrant indigenous communities of the world. Many of these people spend their entire lives on the front lines of environmental stewardship and social justice- tending to organic plots of land or standing in solidarity with their marginalized friends, colleagues and neighbors.
Ethan Ryan, our roaster extraordinaire, traveled to Guatemala for the first time in May to meet producer partners at the APECAFORM cooperative, learn about coffee harvesting and exporting, and generally polish up on his Spanish. It was his first time abroad. And his first time at coffee origin.
Coffee training is such a vital part of a coffee shop’s success that many shop-owners send their staff to get trained. Our own Hannah Mercer is teaching coffee classes this week at Barista Camp- an annual training session for new baristas. It is organized by the Barista Guild of America and the Specialty Coffee Association.
Before she left, Hannah listed her top 5 reasons coffee shop owners should train their baristas.
Hannah Mercer, our sales, customer service and training representative, is pictured here (center) with school children in La Nueva Colonia, a community located deep in the coffee-producing highlands of the Cordillera Central mountains of Colombia- home to Fondo Paez.
In Spanish the word “Esperanza” means hope, so it is fitting that one of fair trade coffee’s most hopeful protagonists would be named Esperanza. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo leads Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative, a farmer-owned enterprise of some 700 campesinos headquartered east of the Andes mountains.
We are headed to a coffee farm named “Cual Bicicleta”, or “Which Bicycle”? I knew this wasn’t going to be a typical farm – actually nothing about Oscar Omar Alonzo Aguilar is typical! Oscar is a passionate soil advocate – his farm is an incredible living testament to the organic farmer’s mantra “Feed the soil.. let the soil feed the plant”. Take a few minutes to read Monika’s blog post chronicling her eye-opening visit to Oscar’s farm. We loved any opportunity to connect coffee and bicycling.. but didn’t expect to run across this connection in Honduras!
Cafe Campesino launched its first Birding and Coffee Tour of Guatemala in February 2014, visiting three regions in nine days, including Chajul (and its environs) in the Guatemalan Highlands where we source coffee. We logged more than 100 species of birds on the trip, visiting Antigua, near Guatemala City, Chajul, in the Quiche department, and […]
Richland Distilling Company is located in Richland, GA. The owners Erik and Karin Vonk and master distiller Jay McCain are helping put Richland on the map by making authentic, quality products. Garden and Gun calls Richland Rum “the smooth amber liquid that had brought new life to this town.” It is a family-owned business and makes Richland Rum exclusively.
We believe White Oak Pastures is a gem in Southwest Georgia. Primarily a livestock farm and processing facility, White Oak Pastures stands out nationally for its sustainable farming practices and commitment to land stewardship, animal husbandry, and organics. Plus, the folks who work there are just so darn innovative, creative and committed to doing the right thing for their community, the land they live on and the animals that feed them.
These seven principles recognized by the United Nations help guide business practices at Cooperative Coffees and farmer’s coops around the world. Viva le co-op!
Roya or coffee “rust” is an orange fungus that grows on the leaves of coffee plants causing them to wither and fall off. We witnessed the effects in Guatemala.
Finding affordable financing is one of the greatest challenges facing small-scale coffee farmers. Like any business, farmer co-ops need access to capital until money starts coming in from their sales. Farmers need to make improvements to their land, investments in their crops and purchases that keep their families fed and children healthy.