Coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity in the world, next to only oil, and coffee the 2nd most consumed beverage in the world, next to only water. So even a small change in the coffee industry can make a big differerence.
The industry is rife with abuse of workers, child labour, pollution of local environments, and other terrible situations — the consequences of severe market fluctuations, natural disasters, and companies whose only concern is the bottom line.
For the most part, all this is kept conveniently away from coffee consumers while coffee companies quietly profit.
The situation is dire for Nicaraguan coffee labourers and their families. Malnutrition, polluted water, low wages, high food prices, poor infrastructure and sanitation, and lack of access to education and health care are common problems they face each and every day.
But things can get better. If farms could sell their coffee to consumers directly, they could get a fairer price regardless of market fluctuations, and they could guarantee both the long-term sustainability of their business, as well as a better quality of life for their workers and the surrounding community.
In 2008, Adam King and Yoani Kuiper travelled to Nicaragua on a mission to find out the truth about the coffee industry. There they saw things they couldn’t understand.
All for the sake of a few cents spared for our cup of coffee, they saw coffee worker families packed like animals in tiny stalls; preventable disease rampant because workers couldn’t afford the simplest of medicines; malnourished kids; poor sanitation; child labour; depression; addictions; and needless tragedy.
They came back knowing that if they could buy farmers’ coffee directly, they could take all the profits wasted on middlemen and instead, both, give coffee workers a better future and coffee drinkers greater value. They knew that if only they could create a system to connect you to the people on these farms, you would feel the same way they do. It’s been a long, hard journey since then, but finally, with the help of many, it’s becoming reality.
Buy some coffee or invest and help us create a real, lasting change.