2015 started with a new website that was so poorly designed that we actually lost ground for the first time in twenty-two years! Sorry about that, folks, but we spent a ton of time, energy, and moolah getting it to work like it was supposed to (mostly...).
That's the bad news. Otherwise we did a lot of great work in the coffeelands and continued to bring home fantastic coffee.
Here are some highlights:
Our on-the-ground work setting up the Grounds for Health's community-based cervical cancer detection and treatment program ensured it started and was successful. To date, over 3,000 Ethiopian farm women have been screened and successfully treated for cervical cancer.
We teamed up with The Coffee Trust to bring enhanced microorganism treatments to counter the terrible Roya (rust fungus) problem that is decimating their coffee and to help farmers grow alternative crops for their table and the market during these difficult times.
We continued out longstanding relationship with Pangoa (the longest in the industry - we introduced them to fair trade in the USA). This year we:
- grew the important Women's Loan Fund
- continued out indigenous reforestation program
- provided pre-harvest financing critical for the farmers to provide for their families during the "Hunger Lag"
Image: reforested coffee farm in Peru.
We continued funding the leading-edge program we co-created with the Polus Center providing prosthetic limbs, therapy and job training to coffee farmers who are landmine victims in that slowly-ending war.
Our youth computer training program launched successfully with the delivery and training on four computers in our partner village of Atsabe, based on the students' request. That's real community development!
Our wonderful intern, Ben, spent over a month in Indonesia working directly with our farmers. He reported that the farmers sold our water buffaloes and bought goats instead. hey, that was their choice, and our development model is based on their running of the show, not ours. Lots of new ideas for the new year! Stay tuned!
We've been working with our partners at PRODECOOP for twenty years! Current programs include:
- combating Roya through community outreach, education and tree replacement
- funding pre-harvest initiatives and loans to help coop members during this rust emergency
- working with MANOS from Brattleboro, VT providing training to nurses, midwives, and health workers on neo-natal survival techniques
We have continued to educate and advocate for fair trade, mandatory GMO labeling, pregnant workers fairness and beyond. We gave keynotes at a dozen colleges, business schools and conferences, and wrote and were interviewed about a range of social justice issues in many prominent publications and social media. In February, we were acknowledged as one of the world's Fifty Top Social Innovators in a ceremony in Mumbai, India.
Coffee and YOU made it all possible. Thanks for participating in another great year of raising the bar on quality coffee, ethical business and social justice!