The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has developed a partnership between small scale farmers all over the world who grow coffee, tea, cocoa, nuts and fruit. Equal Exchange is a fair trade organization which provides a trading system for these independent farmers and co-operatives that guarantee them a minimum sale price, affordable credit and support for their farming. Simply put, these farmers would not get a fair price without these relief efforts. We would paying the same price here in America but they would be living in poverty, unable to support their families and possibly lose their land. Does that hit home with Americans these days...to lose your home?
I wonder if citizens within our Brentwood bubble are as unaware of this effort. My friend decided to take the next step with her local grocery and ask them to carry free trade coffee. Of course, the manager, who did seem to want to help, had to send her up the corporate ladder. I think it would be an easy and important step if Brentwood residents decided to follow her up that ladder. Where do you buy coffee? Harris Teeter? Kroger? Starbucks? The new place in town, The Perch? Ask what they serve and if they are aware of the program. Look for the label shown above in your local grocers. It's a great way, a simple way to make a difference. Just ask for coffee that has been traded fairly and see what happens. You just might find yourself taking a step toward social justice just by having a latte' or espresso!
Want to know more? Check out http://www.equalexchange.com/ or check them out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Equal-Exchange-Fairly-Traded-Coffee-Tea-Chocolate/7432188085?ref=ts