Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Started in 2001, the UUSC Fair Trade Project is a collaboration between Equal Exchange and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee to involve more Unitarians in supporting small farmers around the world.

For each pound of fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea, and foods Unitarians purchase through the UUSC Fair Trade Project, 20 cents per pound goes to the UUSC's Small Farmer Fund. That Fund amounted to $12,597.48 in 2015 alone!

Current Small Farmer Funds are being directed to the following UUSC projects:

Guatemala

Partner: Asociacion Para La Promoción Ecológica y Desarrollo Integral (Association for Promotion Ecological and Integral Development or PROECODI). PROECODI works to promote environmental conservation and integrated development of urban and rural communities of Guatemala, for the full enjoyment of human rights, peace, and good governance.
Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Project: The project is designed to strengthen the organization and productive/marketing capacities of cooperatives of small farmers in Guatemala. The beneficiaries of the project will be men and women, 18 and older, who are small agro-ecological producers (agricultural and craft products, food).

Nicaragua

Partner: Asociación para la Promoción de la Mujer de Waslala (Association for the Advancement of Women of Waslala or APROMUWA). APROMUWA is an all-women cooperative located in an impoverished, rural community in Nicaragua in which violence against women is extremely prevalent. They were founded in 1997 and have 105 members, all of whom are women. Their work focuses on increasing women's economic independence and defending women who are victims of violence.
Location: Waslala , Nicaragua
Project: This grant project will help strengthen grassroots cooperatives in Nicaragua through information sharing, and the sharing of APROMUWA's experiences. Through this project, it is hoped that other cooperatives will have the opportunity to learn from APROMUWA's experiences in protecting women from violence so that they can strengthen their work, and defend the rights of their members so all members can contribute to and benefit from the work of the cooperatives.

Partner: Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Caja Rural (Multiple Services Cooperative Caja Rural or Cooperativa Caja Rural). The organization is a grassroots cooperative that was founded in 1998. They have 127 members, of whom 28 are women and 99 are men. The organization's work primarily focuses on the production and export of coffee for the smallest, and most vulnerable, producers.
Location: San Juan de Rio Coco , Nicaragua
Project: This grant project will help strengthen grassroots cooperatives in Nicaragua through information sharing, and the sharing of Caja Rural's experiences. Through this project, it is hoped that other cooperatives will have the opportunity to learn from Caja Rural's experiences negotiating with banks and navigating the legal environment in which cooperatives operate in Nicaragua so that they can strengthen and expand their work, and defend their rights.

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Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is an independent human-rights organization. Through its Economic Justice Program, UUSC embraces a vision of economic human rights, supporting workers’ right to organize and earn a living wage – including through strategies like fair trade. Along with its 40,000 members and supporters, UUSC recognizes that economic justice is essential for securing basic human rights, alleviating local and global poverty, and achieving a more peaceful and just world.

Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade organization that buys directly from small-scale farmer cooperatives, owned and run by the farmers themselves. Because our farmer partners are paid above market prices for their crops, they are able to make investments in community projects, educational programs, and technical trainings. These cooperative organizations also help keep rural communities healthy and strong, and keep local cultures vibrant. Equal Exchange is also committed to supporting sustainable farming methods that help green the earth through reforestation, natural resource conservation and organic practices.

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Call (774) 776-7366 or email.