Peru: Land of Machu Picchu and Fair Trade Coffee
We know Peru as the land of Machu Picchu, desert sand dunes, the snow-capped Andes mountain range, and a wide stretch of the Amazon jungle. Peru is also the leading exporter of Fair Trade Certified coffee to the U.S. market. Last year 25 percent of the Fair Trade coffee we drank came from Peruvian coffee lands. Most coffee farmers in Peru cultivate their crop on small parcels of land, owning only two to three hectares. Many coffee-growing communities live and work high in the mountains. The small size of their businesses and isolation from markets make them vulnerable to low prices and exploitation. Smallholder farmers have been able to gain leverage by organizing into Fair Trade cooperatives to sell their coffee. By working within the international Fair Trade Certified system, Peruvian coffee farmers like Luis Solorzano Bombadillo of APROVAT Tabaconas Cooperative earn enough money to provide for their family, re-invest in their business and convert their crops to organic production.
“Today in our communities, better coffee prices have been established in the local market and we ensured a better price for our coffee on the international market. For us, Fair Trade is the backbone of change and development; today it guides us, it inspires us, it moves us and gives us hope as small producers that we can hope for better times.” - Luis Solorzano
Coffee company Green Awakening is dedicated to the same Fair Trade system. The company buys 100% of its product from Fair Trade Certified smallholder coffee farms in Peru and even donates a portion of every bag sold back to an education fund to benefit farmers' children. This month Green Awakening is taking a generous extra step to support the Fair Trade movement. During July, nonprofit organization TransFair USA will receive a $2.50 donation every time you buy a bag of yummy, organic Café Mujer coffee beans from Green Awakening. The best part: you can easily order the coffee online! Simply follow this link and make your purchase. Want to stock up for fall? Buy four bags and shipping is free!