I received feedback from Sarah Anne Corbett who read about the Guatemala profile I wrote two weeks ago. She referenced a Washington Post article on Guatemala and the economic devastation of the recent coffee bean price drop. Even for fair trade coffee at $1.20, the wholesale price of coffee is below the cost of production which leads to economic hardship and economic migration to the USA. The largest source of illegal border crossing from Oct. 2018 to May 2019 were 211,000 Guatemalans (Washington Post, 6/11/2019).
For each pound of fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea, and foods Methodists purchase through the UMCOR Coffee Project, 15 cents per pound goes to UMCOR's Small Farmer Fund. That Fund amounted to $9,261.99 in 2018 and went to the UMCOR Africa Sustainable Agriculture Initiative, which is improving farm practices and nutrition of small scale farmers mainly in rural communities in Africa.
To support local farmers, consider Fair Trade Coffee and other products that compensate farmers equitably, come on Wednesdays to our farm stand here, or patronize other local food producers. Let us live our lives so others may live.
Photo by Rodrigo Flores on Unsplash