Crowdfunding meets Trade Finance 1

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.

“Now I know” by Scott Umstattd 2

In January of 2013, I had the opportunity to go with Cafe Campesino on a cooperative tour of Guatemala. Sure, we all know Cafe Campesino makes great coffee and that this great coffee is traded in a way the best serves the farmers who nurture and grow the beans, but to actually go out and meet the people in this supply chain made a tremendous difference in how I view an already superior product and business model. Through this trip, I was informed and reminded of this simple fact: what you purchase has direct consequences on others.

Our group on their first day in Guatemala

Our group including Mike Weaver of Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Dave Campbell of Cafe Campesino on their first day visiting Manos Campesinas in Guatemala.

Julia Salinas of LA FEM harvests ripe coffee cherries in Nicaragua. Photo by Julia Baumgartner for Cafe Campesino. September 2012

La Fundacion Entre Mujeres is a well-organized, all-woman NGO in northern Nicaragua committed to selling quality, Fair Trade coffee while empowering rural women

What’s the “Shade-Grown Coffee” thing all about? 3

It preserves ecologically diverse woodlands, provides habitat for hummingbirds, and keeps chemicals out of coffee fields away from farmers and local residents.