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.

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 …

extraordinary people behind extraordinary coffees

“There are no specialty coffees, only extraordinary people who produce excellent coffees.”   –  Marino Yanapa, CECOVASA I met Raúl Mamani six years ago when he came to the U.S. to promote his cooperative’s coffee and to speak to consumers and industry about Fair Trade. It took him three days to travel to Lima from …

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