Let's talk about coffee. You might already know we use coffee as a vehicle for positive change. But why coffee? Why not milk or flour or, I don't know, bales of hay? Well, because coffee is a truly efficient crop! We're able to reach the most amount of people the most directly when we work through the coffee supply chain.
Coffee is a huge commodity and worldwide market (with millions of consumers hooked on the stuff daily, I might add) with a wide network of farmers who often times work in well-organized cooperatives, especially when it comes to specialty coffee. This enables us to reach the entire community of coffee farmers, their families and neighbors, who have the support system of the coop, while still having incredibly rich, personal relationships with the growers.
Coffee is also grown in a specific region of the world, in a belt around the equator, which provides a direct avenue into rural areas at the end of the road of development, where traditional international development groups often do not prioritize. Many times, these are Indigenous farming villages as well, which plays to my background as an indigenous rights and environmental lawyer.
Lastly, it's easy to source certified organic and Fair Trade coffee (and we're working on more Bird Friendly,too!)
So by working with coffee, the impact is pretty darn real. The same can be said for bananas and chocolate...I also just happen to like coffee, and get in with a coffee roaster early on in the 90s.
And THAT'S why coffee is our vehicle for positive change.