‘Every Purchase Matters’ is the theme for Fair Trade Month 2010. According to Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade Certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace. Fair trade principles include:
* Fair price
* Fair labor conditions
* Direct trade
* Democratic and transparent organizations
* Community development
* Environmental sustainability
Southwest GA is blessed to have a presence like Cafe’ Campesino around. Cafe’ Campesino, which takes its’ name from the Spanish translation of ‘coffee from a small farmer’ began importing coffee in 1998. I live about 45 minutes away from this roaster and order my coffee, 5 lb bags at the time, from them via their online store. The coffee is roasted-to-order, organic and fair trade which are all characteristics that are extremely important to me. Not only am I able to support a local business by buying this coffee, I am voting for a fair wage for others who take care of the environment while producing the coffee beans that get me jump started every morning! Even if you purchase fair trade, organic coffee from other large companies there is an enormous difference in purchasing coffee beans that have been roasted only a few days before arrival at your home.
My most recent order was for a 5lb bag of Viennese Roast from El Salvador. The coffee beans are dark and have a mouth watering aroma. The cup of coffee that results from these beans is rich and smooth with a earthy finish. I traveled to El Salvador this year so this bag had a bit of sentimental value attached to it. I visited several fincas (a Spanish word for farms) while in El Salvador that grew coffee. The steep mountainsides that the coffee plants grew on was a reminder of just how hard people have to work to hand pick this crop while balancing a bag or basket on their body. I can’t remember how much my Salvadoran friends told me the workers were paid but it was appalling. I took pride in knowing that “back home” I had a resource for purchasing coffee from this war torn, impoverished country that did not exacerbate many of the political and social problems that I encountered while there. For more information on Cafe’ Campesino, including access to some of the most delicious coffee you have ever had the pleasure to sip, visit them online at http://www.cafecampesino.com/. They have a storefront in Americus, Ga and have recently opened another store in Atlanta, GA. Rock On Cafe’ Campesino!