Griselda meets coffee pickers in El Salvador

This is a guest post shared by Griselda Barraza.  Griselda is my colleague at Fair Trade USA and she recently visited one of the coffee farms interested in participating in our pilots. During the holiday break, I went to El Salvador to visit my family.  I took one day to visit a coffee farm in …

Top 5 moments in 2012 (2)

…continuing my post on my top moments of 2012, here are the remaining two moments that were special because of the learnings and inspiration they brought to me and my work. 2. Learning from (and with) my labor friends Early this year I went to Brazil and Ecuador with Erik and Kevin: two champions of …

Top 5 experiences of 2012

We are approaching the end of the year and this has been a challenging but very rewarding year professionally.   I have been working to find alternatives to improve the situation of farm workers and independent smallholder farmers in coffee.  That means that I have had to travel to many places to build partnerships and work …

the labor behind our cups of coffee

If the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil were a country, it would be the largest coffee producing country in the world.  That’s how much coffee is grown in Minas.  Of the 280,000 people involved in the production of coffee in the state in 2009, over 230,000 were farm workers according to the Brazilian Institute …

I met Eliover in July when I visited the farm where he works in Colombia. He has worked in coffee since he was a kid picking coffee during the harvest, cleaning weeds, and recently guiding other workers in this farm during harvest time. When we met we talked about the idea of Fair Trade with …

why I work with farm workers

In my first job out of college, I lived and worked on a banana farm outside of Quevedo, Ecuador, the city where my father grew up.  It was the year of El Niño, and it rained incessantly.  The workers and I spent days and nights ‘fighting’ the rain to ensure the banana trucks could make …

who knows best what’s best for you?

When I first heard about the washing machines, I thought, “Really?” I  used to hear about so many other ways to spend Fair Trade premium funds….like healthcare programs, scholarships for children, etc…. that it surprised me to hear that the farm workers on this Fair Trade flower farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador, had chosen to buy washing …