Introduction: Staff Notes

Written by Cafe Campesino on Apr 1, 2002 in Introduction, NEWSLETTER |

The Café Campesino e-newsletter has emerged from the bottomless cup! Our search and rescue team, including our friends at Starstruck Design, has revived our monthly publication. If our hiatus has caused a coffee buzz withdrawal, we apologize, but we’ve been submerged in a growing fair trade market. But now we’re back, serving up a monthly cup of Café Campesino news and information we hope you’ll enjoy. The following staff notes capture past year highlights…read on!

Our bustling Americus international headquarters continues to be a hive of swarming activity. Now that I think back, so much has happened in the last year, it’s hard to summarize it all in Reader’s Digest form. But the domain of Café Campesino and Cooperative Coffees, two companies with distinctly separate missions but inseparable by trade, has entertained Bill, me and a handful of other dedicated team members over the twelve-month stretch. Our constant whirlwind of activity has prompted the acquisition of a couple of additional office chairs (without missing parts) and a few framed Chiapan folk art wall-hanging pieces, as well as production room renovation completed by two amateur carpenters whose technique was gleaned from watching episodes of “The New Yankee Workshop.”

Aside from the physical changes in our office, Café Campesino’s activity over the past four seasons has produced growth on many other fronts – more producer group relations, a new label release, an expanded retail line including hand-crafted coffee mugs, and another local community pilot project (pre-labeling our coffee bags), which generates revenue for our local school for the mentally and physically-challenged. Our long-term supporters would express this progress as exponential growth, while our current customers would agree that these exciting developments are only the beginning.

Experiencing small-business volatility, expanding a novel Fair Trade market, and exercising social activism takes the dexterity of a puppeteer. To tame the loose ends, we added two players to our Café Campesino cast: Rosemary and Maria. Both much better Spanish speakers than Bill and me, they quickly improved our customer service – impacting both our front-end and back-end operations. Better serving customers and answering more consumer inquiries = further opportunities. The doors to other alternative trade forums are beginning to open for us here in Americus and beyond.

Recently, we established prominence in the Atlanta natural foods market with shelf space at Sevananda, a community-owned cooperative. As an advocating outreach team, Café Campesino has transformed recreational festivals into Fair Trade chat grounds. Bicycle festivals have been a proven haven for Café Campesino conversations. Serving the desired cup at BRAG and at the Mount Dora Bike Festival, we not only engage consumers on Fair Trade issues, but also discuss the platform of alternative transportation.

Each month in this Fair Grounds e-newsletter, beside sharing our news, we’ll invite an ever-growing network of fair traders to promote alternative grounds, showcase fair viewpoints from consumers (like you!), and offer a voice to producers who trade on fair grounds. We hope you find this publication as invigorating as the taste of Café Campesino Fair Trade Coffees. ENJOY!

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