The first Fair Trade farmer-owned certification system, referred to as the Small Producer Symbol (SPP, for its Spanish acronym) will arrive this fall on Equal Exchange coffees in food co-ops and natural food stores across the country. Ten years in the making, the SPP certification system represents the small farmers’ persistent attempt to ensure a more just trade system for their fellow farmers everywhere. The colorful SPP logo will initially appear on Equal Exchange coffee bags and bulk coffee bins, and will soon become more prominent throughout stores.
I first learned about the Enough Project in 2011 while attending Informed Activism: Armed Conflict, Scarce Resources, and Congo at Clark University, during which more than 400 people gathered to talk about our individual efforts working in the Congo. At the time, I didn’t know much about the conflict in the D.R. Congo (DRC) and over the course of two days I was horrified to learn about how mining, sexual violence and child solders contribute to a very complex war. Did the tantalum in my cell phone come from the Congo? How would I know?
I am an Intentional Interim Minister, which means I serve churches during the period between settled pastors, while the church is going through a search process. My unusual vocation has also given me a unique opportunity to introduce Equal Exchange’s Fair Trade coffee program to a wide variety of churches.
Losing a cow is like having your savings account wiped out. Several animals were lost to the family farmers of the Cooperative José Gabriel Condorcanquí in Peru when this past March, unusually heavy rains fell for a few days and caused small mudslides. The innumerable shade and native trees farmers maintain around their coffee plants limited damage, but for those small-scale growers who lost livestock and stables, the loss can push them to the economic brink.
The relationship between Equal Exchange and the farmers in northern Nicaragua has survived war, embargo, revolution, counter-revolution, and epic hurricanes.
Equal Exchange sources from small farmer organizations because we believe they are the heart and soul of the Fair Trade movement. Learn more >
This year's Cooperation in Quality seminar had a special focus: bringing together international cuppers, U.S. baristas, and Equal Exchange coffee geeks, all around our cupping table.