The Coffee Crisis: Four Million Farmers and Their Families at Risk
Coffee is big business — it’s one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world. Americans alone drink one third of all coffee produced worldwide. While many people benefit from this big business, the farmers who grow the beans often live in poverty. For the majority of small-scale farmers, the benefits are few.
Conventionally traded coffee involves a lengthy and expensive cast of middlemen between the coffee farmer and the consumer, each taking their share — or more — of the coffee price. What's left for the farmers may not even cover their production costs or basic living expenses. Many farmers earn less for their crops today than their
great-grandparents did 100 years ago.
Coffee prices are notoriously unstable and in recent years have dropped to historic lows, forcing farmers across Latin America, Africa and Asia to give up their farms. Many are unable to provide their families with daily necessities such as food, clothing, health care, or school supplies. Overwhelmed with debt and unable to earn a consistent income in the unstable market, farmers are forced to leave their family farms, moving to cities or migrating to other countries in search of work.
Enjoy the Fair-Trade Coffee at First Pres
Those of you who know me well, you know I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee. And did you know that we can improve the lives of small farmers around the world at the same time we can enjoy fellowship over excellent coffee here in Watchorn? With the help of fair-traded coffee, we can! I am very excited to have the beginnings of a ministry with Equal Exchange and the Presbyterian Coffee Project at FPCOKC!
For those of you that were unable to be at the glorious Easter Brunch, complete with fair-traded coffee, you missed one of our recent new members, Ted Streuli give a brief talk and video presentation on the Presbyterian Coffee Project, Equal Exchange, and how we as a congregation are moving forward on having fair-traded coffee available more often.
The Presbyterian Coffee Project provides a special link between our congregation and communities around the world, allowing us to reach out to neighbors overseas not only with prayers and offerings, but with the goods and products we purchase. Fair Trade principles complement our mission and stewardship here at FPCOKC, in that it guarantees farmers will earn the income they need to feed their families, educate their children, and improve their communities.
Ted, along with the Evangelism Committee, is working on creative ways to include fair trade on a regular basis. If you would like to know more about the Presbyterian Coffee Project or Equal Exchange, check out: http://equalexchange.com or http://pcusa.org/coffee
Fair-Trade coffee is available for purchase outside the chruch office for $10.