"Breaking the crust" is a term used in coffee cupping to describe the action of using a spoon to release the true aroma and quality of coffee that has been steeping in a glass beneath a layer of frothy grounds. Reflecting back on my experience with an Equal Exchange/Presbyterian Hunger Program delegation trip to a coffee co-op in Nicaragua in early January, “breaking the crust” was exactly what the journey felt like for me. It was my first "real" travel away from my insulated life in the United States and I had the unique opportunity to reveal something that was authentic and powerful regarding the human connection between the work that I do every day at Equal Exchange and the farmers who are growing and harvesting the coffee we sell.
This is the second post in a three-part series. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.
On Friday, we introduced you to Equal Exchange’s vision for transforming the way Mexican produce is grown and exported to the United States. Today, we’re going to dive deeper into our ideas for a more just and sustainable food system by talking about our experience importing avocados from Mexico.
From our Oke USA Team:
Equal Exchange is proudly supporting the Coffee Quality Institute’s Gender Equity program as a Sustaining Partner. Equal Exchange Coffee Quality Manager Beth Ann Caspersen participated in the second of four international workshops in Palacaguina, Nicaragua, last week. This is the first of two blog posts from Beth Ann about the experience.
The following post is by Darya Mattes, Community Sales
Last year, we accomplished so much together. We’re so proud to have the support of coffee drinkers, chocolate lovers and authentic Fair Trade enthusiasts like you. You make it all possible.
Equal Exchange, along with six consumer food co-ops across the United States, founded the P6 Coop Trade Movement in 2009. Our mission is to support just and equitable trade relationships between farmers, producers, retailers and consumers rooted in cooperative principles and values. In participating P6 co-op stores, you can find and learn more about the products that meet our highest standards and values.
Name: Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union
Location: Shebedino Woreda, Sidama Zone, Ethiopia
Number of Producers: 85,000
Certifications: Organic, Fair Trade, FLO
On a rainy Tuesday in late November, just a few weeks after the end of the 2014 olive harvest, I had the opportunity to spend a day with the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), Equal Exchange’s olive oil partner in Palestine. I’ve visited a Fair Trade coffee co-op and have learned about many others during my four years at Equal Exchange, but on this visit, I was struck by how embedded olive farming and olive oil production are in every aspect of Palestinian culture. Unlike coffee, tea, and cacao, which were imported to many producer countries as commodity crops under colonial regimes, olive oil production is a centuries-long tradition for people in this region.