I’m a strong advocate of organic coffee because the environmental impact of industrial coffee growing is just tragic and enormous … and because it’s so easy to switch to organic. There are many great craftspeople roasting organic, fair trade coffee today, but recently I’ve become interested in a new, farmer-direct model.
Both Thrive Farmers in Georgia and Coffee CSA in California bring coffee beans direct from the farmer to the consumer. Of course, these organizations handle the local roasting and marketing of the beans – that way you get them freshly roasted – but the concept is to help farmers capture much more of the final selling price than they do through traditional coffee distribution channels.
Coffee CSA is a cooperative 100% owned by its farmer-members. It delivers beans with the farmer’s name right on the package. As their website says, when farmers capture a greater share of the retail price (also known as higher profit margins), they have a greater stake in investing in their farms and the quality of their beans. You can subscribe for regular deliveries. This makes CoffeeCSA more like a typical farm CSA – your commitment gives the farmer an assured, sustainable income.
Sounds like fair trade on steroids, doesn’t it? Give it a try.
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