Georgia Organics’ 13th Annual Conference Recap
Eating is sacred. Food should not be wasted. Reclaim your food system. Reclaim agriculture! If there were a rallying cry at the 13th annual Georgia Organics conference held in Athens Feb. 19-20 – “Reclaim your culture! Reclaim Agriculture!” –was it.
Leading that rallying cry was a gray-bearded Italian man who kept an audience of more than 1,000 hanging on his every word through the help of a translator. Carlo Petrini, Slow Food founder and conference keynote speaker, urged attendees to demand healthier, locally focused food production systems from politicians and decision makers. He also boasted that within one day of arriving in Georgia, he had become a fan of a Southern delicacy- collard greens and potlicker.
Celebrating traditional dishes, supporting local, organic food production and working to reclaim agricultural systems was the theme of this year’s Georgia Organics conference, and Cafï¿½ Campesino was proud to be a part of it.
Tripp and Bill led a Saturday educational session on Fair Trade discussing its role in the food system, drawing parallels between it and the organics movement and underscoring the commitments of Cafï¿½ Campesino and Cooperative Coffees to the principles of both.
Their presentation on Fair Trade was one of the many opportunities for best-practice sharing that filled this conference- including specialized workshops and intimate farm tours- that offered attendees with the tools and support they will need to carry this vision of a changed food system into reality.
The practice of collaborating with local farmers and bringing healthy, locally grown food options back into schools, homes and restaurants is gaining momentum and receiving attention statewide. In the few weeks since the conference, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Athens-Banner Herald, Atlanta’s Finest Dining, the Macon Telegraph, Atlanta’s Creative Loafing and other publications across the state have written about Georgia’s sustainable food movement.
And this discussion would likely still be on the back-burner if it weren’t for the vision and commitment of organic farmers throughout the state, the support and organizing capacity of Georgia Organics and the dedication of individuals committed to the movement.
Some of these individuals were honored by Georgia Organics during a short awards ceremony held at the Saturday night Farmers’ Feast where Mr. Petrini presented. Andy and Hilda Byrd of Whippoorwill Hollow Farm were honored with the Georgia Organics Land Stewardship award, which recognized their energetic commitment to the organics movement that has included building and growing two farmers markets in the Atlanta area and serving as committed mentors to new farmers.
Julie Shaffer, Emory University’s Sustainable Food Service Education Coordinator and founder of Slow Food Atlanta, was also honored with the Barbara Petit Pollinator Award for her work to promote the local food movement in various restaurants, schools, institutions and public agencies across the state.
Georgia-based chefs who are leading the farm-to-table movement in the restaurant industry were also recognized. They included Ron Eyester of Rosebud, Michael Deihl of East Lake Golf Club, Bruce Logue of La Pietra Cucina, Shaun Doty of Shaun’s, Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill, Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafï¿½ and Abbattoir and Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten, who organized a dinner that pulled together the talents of these chefs and others to serve more than 1,000 people.
Chefs, farmers, foodies and revolutionaries – Georgia Organics pulled them all together for a delightful, delicious and energized conference. Job well done. And rest assured, we’re ready to keep the momentum going.
It is hard to beat good southern cooking, especially when the vittles are prepared by an all-start cast of Atlanta’s best chefs! On February 21st, it was our privilege to provide the coffee for an evening with Slow Food International (www.slowfood.com) Founder Carlo Petrini at a Slow Food Atlanta Family Dinner hosted by downtown Decatur, Georgia’s famed Watershed Restaurant. In addition to sharing five courses of reinterpreted southern family recipes – each course inspired by a food memory from the preparing chef – we enjoyed a word from Carlo on the importance of Terra Madreand the future of the Slow Food movement. We were also enchanted by the talent of Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and a co-owner of Watershed singing a few of her (and our) favorites. Bill represented Cafe Campesino at the event and said he just didn’t want the evening to end! A big thank you to Judith and Slow Food Atlanta for including us at the Family Dinner and in your important work!
Friday, Jan. 15 – Cross country bicycle team of Clint Valentine and Paul Dorr visited Cafe Campesino. Bicycling from Maine to California to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research, the pair stopped off for coffee and internet access during their layover in Americus. You can visit their website atwww.teambowditch.com to support their cause.
Saturday, Jan. 23 – Georgia Organics’ Incredible Edible Grow-it-Yourself Fruit Tree Sale. Café Campesino Atlanta attended Georgia Organics’ first annual Fruit Tree Sale, offering coffee, muffins and scones and witnessed the hugely successful event in action. More than 1,000 people took home a fruit tree or bush in an event that extended into a second Saturday because attendance was so high. Sales at the inaugural event included blackberry and blueberry bushes, fig, pear, plum and apple trees. Congratulations, Georgia Organics! Café Campesino Atlanta was happy to participate.
Saturday, Jan. 30 – Café Campesino Atlanta started knitting! Our Atlanta coffee shop is hosting a Sweet Auburn Curb Market initiative to bring together knitters- both newbies and veterans- to celebrate the craft and share techniques. The weekly “Sip n’ Knit” is held every Saturday at 12 p.m. Stop in to learn from fellow knitters or show off your latest project. 209 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, Georgia.
Feb. 5 – Several of us gathered at the coffee house in Americus to discuss & plan for 2010. Nema joined us on behalf of Café Campesino Atlanta, and Amanda and Tina made the drive from Sweetwater in Gainesville. Lots of fun was had by all! And we’re definitely excited about another year of Fair Trade, organic, shade grown coffee!
Feb. 8-13 – Tripp is traveling to visit our friends and partners at Maya Vinic in the Chiapas region of Mexico. He and Chris Treter of Higher Grounds Coffee are in Mexico to facilitate a Farmer to Farmer workshop on the coffee market. Program is sponsored by USAID.
Feb. 19-20 – Bill and Tripp will lead a workshop (from 2:15-3:45pm on the 20th) about Fair Trade at Georgia Organics’ 13th Annual Conference and Expo in Athens, GA. They’re excited and honored to be able to share and discuss the importance of Fair Trade with the other attendees.
Mon.-Fri., Feb. 22-26 – Café Campesino Atlanta rolls out its Frequent Buyer’s Card. We want to thank our loyal Atlanta customers, and keep them coming back for more, so we will be introducing a Frequent Buyer’s Card at the end of February. The program will offer a free product after a certain number of purchases. Look for details on Café Campesino Atlanta’s website or cafecampesinoatlanta.com and on Facebook during that week to learn more details.
March 17 – Want to learn more about organics? Café Campesino Atlanta is working with professionals at nearby Grady Hospital to plan monthly informational sessions that address the “Whats, Hows, and Whys” for organic foods. The first monthly session is planned for Wednesday, March 17. Visit www.cafecampesinoatlanta.com for event details as the date approaches.
Tags: Amanda, Bill Harris, Chiapas, Chris Treter, Clint Valentine, Farmer to Farmer, Georgia Organics conference, Georgia Organics' Incredible Edible Grow-it-Yourself Fruit Tree Sale, Grady Hospital, Higher Grounds Coffee, Maya Vinic, Mexico, Nema, Paul Dorr, Sweet Auburn Curb market, TIna, Tripp Pomeroy
Café Campesino will lead an educational session during Georgia Organics’ 13th Annual Conference and Expo, “Reclaiming Agriculture,” to be held Feb. 19-20 in Athens. Tripp and Bill will present a workshop talk about Fair Trade, offering a definition and overview of its practices as well as firsthand examples of the importance of fair trade in the field and its direct affect on the lives of producers. The session will be held from 2:15-3:45 p.m. as a part of a Food Systems educational track that is being offered on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The conference is expected to draw thousands of food lovers and organic enthusiasts from across the Southeast for educational sessions, farm tours, and a dinner featuring keynote speaker Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food. A non-profit-turned-movement, Slow Food began in Italy in the late 1980s in an effort to preserve local food cultivation and culinary traditions that were being threatened by fast food chains and agro-industrial production systems. The organization now boasts 100,000 members with chapters in 132 countries and Mr. Petrini, who is an editor and columnist in Italy, founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences in 2004 in northern Italy that is dedicated to Slow Food principles.
The Atlanta chapter of Slow Food and Georgia Organics work closely together, sharing similar visions for food cultivation in the Southeast.
In addition to Mr. Petrini’s keynote address and the Food Systems educational track, other topics covered during the Saturday sessions include ones on Slow Food culture, farm-to-school issues, home-grown food, raising livestock, managing the business side of farming, and various tips on growing organic food. Farm tours are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19, and will feature a number of organic farms in the Athens and north-Georgia area. To sign up for a farm tour, the Saturday educational sessions, or learn more about the conference, visit Georgia Organics’ website.
For many years, Cafe Campesino has been proud to be a member and supporter of Georgia Organics. We look forward to many more.
Fair Trade Futures Conference Planned for September
Fair trade entrepreneurs, retailers, consumers, advocates, and producers are invited to attend the 2010 Fair Trade Futures Conference to be held in Boston Sept. 10-12.
The conference is an opportunity for Fair Trade professionals to share their best practices and explore the challenges and successes of the movement. Attendees can expect seminars, workshops, social activities, and experiential learning sessions all focused on Fair Trade. More than 50 Fair Trade Organizations and 700 attendees are expected.
Cooperative Coffees is a Leadership Group member for the conference, providing guidance and support. Other Leadership Group Members include Catholic Relief Services, Ten Thousand Villages, Equal Exchange, the Fair Trade Federation, Green America, Oxfam America, and SERRV. To learn more about the conference, visit Fair Trade Federation’s website.
Cooperative Coffees member Kickapoo Coffee Named ‘Micro Roaster of the Year’
A coffee industry trade and technical publication, Roast Magazine annually announces a Macro and Micro Roaster of the year in its November/December issue. Micro Roasters are classified as roasting fewer than 100,000 pounds of beans per year. Among Roast Magazine’s selection criteria are the quality of the coffee and the roaster’s commitment to sustainability.
Owned and operated by two small families, Kickapoo Coffee is located in southwestern Wisconsin near the Kickapoo River. The roaster was founded in 2005 with a commitment to Fair Trade and sustainability. In addition to maintaining relationships with coffee producers through Cooperative Coffees, Kickapoo is tirelessly committed to environmental sustainability, working to entirely eliminate petroleum-derived plastic from its operations. Their canned coffee is sold in reusable, recyclable steel cans that contain 80 percent post-consumer recycled steel, and their coffee bags are biodegradable. They are also actively committed to their local community and region, selling the bulk of their coffee within a 200-mile radius of their roastery, which is located in a historic train depot.
Cheers and congratulations to the team at Kickapoo!
Tags: awards, Bill Harris, Carlo Petrini, Catholic Relief Services, Cooperative Coffees, Equal Exchange, Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade Futures Conference, Georgia Organics conference, Green America, Kickapoo Coffee, Oxfam America, Roast Magazine, SERRV, Slow Food, Ten Thousand Villages, Tripp Pomeroy, Wisconsin
Well, it’s official: Spring has certainly sprung. Beautiful flowers are blooming, quenching rains are falling, and Café Campesino along with Sweetwater Organic Coffee ( www.sweetwaterorganiccoffee.com ) (our “new” venture in Gainesville, FL) are ever thankful for the support of our friends and partners in this continuing journey to a fair trade world with a cup (or two) of artisan-roasted, organic coffee in hand.
Here are a few of the comings and goings of the season at Café Campesino AND Sweetwater.
During the first weekend of March, our crew from Sweetwater had a blast serving coffee backstage at the Harvest of Hope Fest, a music and arts festival in St. Augustine, FL. The Harvest of Hope Foundation works as a non-profit organization that provides financial, educational, and service-oriented aid to migrant farm workers all over the country. Sweetwater Organic Coffee is proud to be a sponsor of these efforts.
March 20-21—The 12th Annual Georgia Organics Conferencewas a huge success! In-depth workshops, local farm tours, and informative panel discussions made for a thought-provoking, inspiring event. And we know that folks enjoyed the Café Campesino coffee that was served as part of our sponsorship of this excellent show. Thanks GA Organics.
March 27-28 – Callaway Gardens, a stunning 14,000 acre garden oasis and resort located at Pine Mountain, GA, invited Café Campesino to serve coffee at the annual Plant Fair and Sale. We gladly accepted the invitation and met lots of great folk, saw some awesome plant life and received lots of great feedback on our coffee. In fact, our coffee is now their coffee: Callaway Gardens Country Store has Café Campesino coffee available for purchase. Cheers to our friends at Callaway Gardens as they work to make the world a greener place.
April looks to be another exciting, event-filled month.
BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) Spring Tune Up will take place April 17-19 in and around Madison, GA. Our coffee event master, Geoffrey, will be on hand to brew and serveBrag Brew to the participants in this precursor to the summer BRAG event slated to happen in June. Speaking of coffee and exercise, here’s an interesting story we recently saw regarding caffeine and physical exertion: Coffee can lessen the pain of exercise (Note: While we don’t recommend the use of coffee in lieu of proper stretching and training, apparently it can lessen the after-effects of an ill-advised physical activity. J)
The 21st Annual SCAA Exposition, the premier gathering for all things coffee, will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The Specialty Coffee Association of America will host thousands during the weekend of April 16-19. And Café Campesino, Sweetwater, and Cooperative Coffees (booth #1054) will be right in the middle of the action. Lectures, labs, coffee, coffee, coffee. We’ll be there.
April 22nd is Earth Day – Visit earthday.net for the latest info on what you can do to be part of this truly worldwide event.
Looking further ahead
May 9th – a huge day on our 2009 calendar. Not only is it wedding day for a couple of good friends from Koinonia, Jerry and Elizabeth, but its also Happy Birthday day and graduation day for Jason, one of our baristas. Congrats to all! And as if those two events weren’t enough, May 9th is also World Fair Trade Day. Numerous local & global events are happening. One that we are particularly keen on participating in is the World’s Largest Fair Trade Coffee Break ’09. Stay tuned for an early May update on this.
Till next time…
As this newsletter arrives, temperatures are climbing towards 70+ degrees; a stark contrast to a bone-chilling day of wind followed by a “snowstorm” on March 1. That’s right. A snowstorm in southwest Georgia! Our friends to the north may chuckle about a few hours of snowflakes that struggled to accumulate on a somewhat warm springtime turf but it was quite an event for us Sumter Countians. It’s an event that happens here maybe once or twice a decade! Interestingly, this “snowstorm” occurred two years to the day from another wind-filled, albeit much warmer, event in our local history. On the evening of March 1, 2007, Mother Nature brought a devastating tornado to our community. Rebuilding continues to this day as a result of that storm and memories of the destruction are still quite vivid. Next time, we’ll take another snowstorm.
-This Saturday, the 14th, a memorial service is happening at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to honor and celebrate the life and work of our friend, Millard Fuller, who passed away last month. Many folks from Americus and the surrounding area as well as from Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing plan to attend. Blessings on this event.
-March 20-21 brings the Georgia Organics 12th Annual Conference & Trade Show, the southeast’s largest trade show dedicated to sustainable agriculture. As a sponsor of the conference, we’re happy to show our support for this event filled with farm and food tours, in-depth workshops to educate, and a call to the advocacy of sustainable practices.
-A ‘Heads Up’: The April 2009 edition of Fair Grounds will take a closer look at the founding of Cooperative Coffees as part of that organization’s 10th anniversary. Stay tuned for that retrospect… and more.
-The 3rd Annual CRS Fair Trade Weekend was held on February 27-28, a collaboration of Catholic Relief Services, Koinonia Farm, and Cafe Campesino. CRS Program Officer for the Southeast Simone Blanchard and our very own Tripp Pomeroy led thought-provoking discussions and events that included a screening of the movie “Black Gold”, a documentary that effectively shows the oppressive situations along with the work and hope for changes in fairness from the perspective of coffee farmers in Ethiopia. It’s an eye-opening movie that illustrates the incredible need for more and more partnerships to turn the tide of unfair commodity trading into a fair trade relationship with benefit to all.
-Speaking of good documentaries, a few of us recently attended a screening and forum discussion of “Briars in the Cotton Patch”, the story of Koinonia Farm and its struggles to survive during the turbulent, racially charged decades of the 50’s and 60’s. It was a real and personal history lesson of a story that is often overlooked in the annals of the civil rights movement. A “thank you” to several Koinonia residents, past and present, to “Briars” producer Faith Fuller, and to Georgia Southwestern State University for a well-done, informative event.
-The Sumter County Humane Society hosted its 2nd Annual Casino Night on February 28th. The festivities included a silent auction to raise funds for shelter equipment and supplies as they continue to care for the many animals in need. Cafe Campesino happily donated a couple of prizes to this worthwhile cause and we understand that it was another successful event. Kudos to our humane society for the love and care they provide.
-February also saw another special event. Congratulations to Jim & Margaret Favre on the celebration of their 39th wedding anniversary. We so appreciate their consistently cheerful presence and are very happy to share in the joy of this occasion. Their frequent visits to the cafe coupled with the 39 years of marriage make them true “coffee lovers”. (insert your ‘groan’ here)
All in good, clean pun. Thanks for reading… hope to see you next time.
February is always a busy month for the us. Bill returned on the 10th from Guatemala, while Lee and Geoffrey headed north on the 12th to set up our booth and supply coffee for the Greenprints Conference, sponsored by our friends at Southface Energy Institute.
This weekend, February 22-23, we all head east for the annual Georgia Organics conference where we will share a booth with Kelli and Kristen of the Sentient Bean in Savannah.
Want to learn how to put your money to work for economic justice, or advocate for fair trade through your business, on campus, at church, or to your friends and family? Then join us at the annual Fair Trade Federation Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, March 29 – April 1, 2003. For details visit the Fair Trade Federation’s website:
Tags: Bill Harris, economic justice, Fair Trade, Fair Trade Federation Conference, Geoffrey Hennies, Georgia Organics conference, Greenprints Conference, guatemala, Lee Harris, Sentient Bean, Southface Energy Institute
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