Coffee Quality Manager Beth Ann Caspersen is currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to judge the country's first-ever coffee cupping competition. Here's part one of her updates from the field.
Small Farmers Big ChangeMay 15, 2015
On May 1st Equal Exchange turned 29!
We celebrate our anniversary by holding an annual meeting where we discuss the state of our business and our co-operative, among other items. And of course, as important as that meeting is, it doesn’t hold a candle to the festivities that we engage in later that evening. : )
This year, I was in Panama, attending the Fourth Annual Gathering of the Small Producer Symbol (SPP) and couldn’t make it back in time for the activities.
Small Farmers Big ChangeMay 14, 2015
Ethiquable, an Alternative Trade Organization in France (that is also a co-operative) was one of the earliest supporters of the Small Producers Symbol (SPP). Like Equal Exchange, Ethiquable recognizes the tremendous importance of this new Fair Trade system that is so-much-more than a certification system. The first of its kind, the SPP was created, and is entirely owned, by small-scale producers.
Ruthie OlandMay 7, 2015
Your fundraiser is almost finished! You’ve done a great job promoting, selling and collecting orders. Now it’s time to wrap up and distribute all those Fair Trade goodies. You’ll receive your order within 10 businesses days of placing it, guaranteed (for non pre-packed orders) – so it’s important to be ready when everything arrives! Here are some tips to get you organized and prepared to receive, check and distribute your orders.
Ruthie OlandApril 14, 2015
After the hustle of promoting your school-wide fundraiser and gathering support from your community comes the daunting task of collecting those order forms. The trick to mastering this step is organization and good communication with teachers, staff, students and parents. Here are some things to keep in mind to make this part of the process a breeze.
AnonymousMarch 24, 2015
Don Juan Mora, a small-scale organic coffee farmer in Nicaragua, reached down and took a piece of organic material that was covered with a fungal mat from the soil on his farm. “When you see this, it means the soil is good and coffee plants will do well,” he said. As a master gardener back in the U.S., this made me think more about soil and its importance. A commonly used axiom in gardening and horticulture is the statement that “soil is not dirt.” This simple but profound gardening proverb suggests that healthy soil is a complex mixture of minerals, organic matter, air, water and millions of different living organisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, earthworms, gastropods and more). We should think of healthy soil as a living, breathing organism which needs to be nourished in order to support plant and animal life. This concept has also been called the “soil food web” to denote the interdependent nature of these relationships.
Sara FioreMarch 16, 2015
n January 2015, I had the extraordinary privilege of joining an Equal Exchange/PCUSA delegation to Nicaragua. These delegations connect supporters of Fair Trade, and Equal Exchange employees like me, with the people and places that make our products possible. Traveling to this new country, meeting farmers and seeing the co-ops firsthand brought everything I knew about Fair Trade to life. Here’s a look into our week of learning and exploring. Our Nicaraguan coffees are on sale for a limited time, too!
Small Farmers Big ChangeMarch 9, 2015
If you drink tea, particularly tea sourced from India, we invite you to listen to this 6-minute BBC report on the working conditions and treatment of workers on tea plantations in India. (Story begins at minute 6:17)
If you buy tea, please consider looking specifically for tea grown by small-scale farmers, rather than tea coming out of plantations, EVEN IF the tea is fair trade certified.
Small Farmers Big ChangeFebruary 19, 2015
Binita Rae, Mineral Springs Cooperative, Darjeeling, India