“we need to educate the coffee industry”

Last week in Brazil, during a workshop we organized to identify improvements on the Fair Trade standards and processes, coffee farmers and workers from three countries discussed how we could be more effective in educating the coffee industry and consumers about the challenges and opportunities that farmworkers in coffee face every day. To learn more …

buying “a share” for a better future

Leonardo Garcia is a farm worker at a coffee estate called “La Revancha” (The Revenge, in English), in Nicaragua.  This farm is part of our pilot program, which was developed to help the coffee industry better understand if and how Fair Trade can help improve the lives of millions of farm workers who work the coffee …

Working for quality of coffee and quality of life

Eliover Garcia, a foreman at Hacienda Venecia in Colombia, has been working in the coffee fields since he was 8 years old. His humble origins make Eliover fully appreciate everything in life. “Working on the coffee fields has allowed me to put food on our table and satisfy my family’s basic need, for which I’m …

Sustainable coffee isn’t cheap – the cost for farmworkers

Coffee pickers, migrant workers, and farmworkers, in general, may be the most vulnerable groups involved in coffee production; however, they have traditionally not been included in the coffee industry’s sustainability efforts. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered widespread labor violations in coffee farms in Hawaii.  Violations included “failures to pay workers minimum wage …

My first coffee show

This post comes from my colleague Griselda Barraza.  She just attended her first SCAA coffee show.     Preparing for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) show was a lot of work. We spent several hours getting all the logistics ready for the group of farm workers and independent small farmers that we brought …

Farm workers in Nicaragua prepare for Fair Trade

Last week I visited a farm in Nicaragua participating in our coffee pilots to bring the benefits of Fair Trade to coffee pickers and other farm workers.  As part of the new standards we are testing in this pilot, the farm workers have democratically elected a Fair Trade committee.  The committee in this farm includes …

Leonardo says hi from Nicaragua’s coffee fields

Last week I visited a farm in Nicaragua participating in one of our pilots. One of the workers, Leonardo, is studying English on Saturdays Sundays when he doesn’t have to work .  He is saving everything he can to pay for classes, and is seeking new opportunities in his life and to meet people from other countries.  I visited him in the coffee field when he and other workers were ‘weeding’ with machetes.  I greeted Leonardo in English, and he quickly responded back.  I asked him if he would send a message to the people in our office in English and this is what he said:

Leonardo is part of the Fair Trade committee in this farm.  They are just beginning to work in Fair Trade here and the workers are looking forward to seeing how they can use Fair Trade to improve things (working conditions, their communities) in the future.