Article: Looking Back on Another Great Fair Trade Year

Written by Cafe Campesino on Dec 1, 2006 in Article, NEWSLETTER |
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Between frantically roasting and packing orders during our busiest month, and tweaking our plans for the upcoming year; it is hard for us to stop, take a deep breath, and gaze into the rear view mirror. But while sitting around the dinner table at Tripp’s house last night, we all agreed that it sure feels good to look back for a moment and smile. Another remarkable year is winding down here at Cafe Campesino and we are so grateful to all of you for your support and encouragement as our little coffee experiment continues to grow. So here is a list of a few of the accomplishments as well as the fun events and visits that we have been blessed with during the last year.

We love visitors! Rigoberto of the Santa Anita Coop in Guatemala spent several days with us and helped us design the Power of 100 program that is helping their community recover from Hurricane Stan. We were also fortunate to host Sra. Esperanza Dionisio and Don Marcial Lazo Mucha of CAC Pangoa, Elizabeth Villa Junco of CEPROAP in Peru, Mario Chacon of the Green Development Foundation’s Progresso Coffee Program, and Wilman Sotelo, of Fondo Paez in Colombia, this past April.

Green Beans don’t float… We began the year in a precarious position – our supply of green coffee in New Orleans was wiped out by Katrina, so we were scrambling as Cooperative Coffees slowly recovered from the storm and established an inventory in Toronto. By March, we were back to full stock — but those first few months were tough!

New toys… During the summer we traded Little Red in for Big Yellow, a 50 pound per batch coffee roasting machine manufactured by our friends at Ambex. This tripled our per-hour roasting capacity — and helps Lee maintain his sanity during the busy holidays.

Coffee to Go, Please… The mobile brewing team has been quite active this year; serving cyclists, paddlers, festival attendees, activist and many others throughout the southeast. This year we caffeinated folks at the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, Paddle Georgia, the SOA Watch Vigil, the Greenfest in Washington, DC., and many other events.

Fair Trade on the Big Screen… Black Gold, an award winning documentary which follows our friend Tadesse Meskela as he navigates the back roads of Ethiopia and the perils of the international coffee market, premiered in Atlanta and Savannah last month. We attended these events and spoke afterwards about our experiences working with Tadesse. This film is getting the Fair Trade message out to thousands in theaters across the country.

World Fair Trade Day… We sponsored a day of activities here in Americus, beginning with a proclamation by our Mayor recognizing World Fair Trade Day and culminating with an international pot luck dinner, party and movie night at the roastery.

Partnerships Rock! The essence of Fair Trade is found in this word — partnership. We always hope that the relationship that we have with farmers, our customers, our vendors will really be considered a partnership. One particular partnership that has blossomed over the last year is the Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade program. We are shipping thousands of pounds of coffee to parishes, dioceses and other Catholic groups throughout the country who are committed to helping us build an alternative system of international trade by serving Fair Trade coffee.

What better way to wrap up such a good year than with a heartfelt Thank You to everyone who is making Fair Trade work!

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