My son and I enjoy a good cup of coffee each morning. He likes his iced, while I prefer mine nice and hot. We usually try to get a brand that benefits the people who grow and produce the coffee and we just finished a bag of Equal Exchange (https://equalexchange.coop/) fairly traded coffee. This coffee was grown by small farmers, collected at farmer co-ops, roasted at Equal Exchange, all for fair trade pricing to be brewed and enjoyed by us. It has the taste and quality of an artisan coffee. We hope to keep enjoying it for a long time, but the coffee industry is in danger. In our food system, as in so many other areas of our life, Big Business is extending its paralyzing grip further and further. In the name of power and profit, corporations count on the consumer to remain uninformed and unorganized. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just think, when has Big Business ever done anything for you?
The pandemic has made things worse for the coffee farmers. Since the pandemic started, the global focus has shifted, making their situation more precarious. The independent food economy and farmers are slowly going bankrupt, and consumers have increasingly dwindling options to support a healthy and safe food system. Consumer choice exists as only an illusion. A concentrated market and Big Food have control and influence over consumer prices, and control of workers along all parts of the supply chain. A concentrated market means driving out existing independents and creating high barriers to entry, it denies workers in the food system good wages, and limits producers’ ability to deliver high quality, sustainable, and healthy food. Monopolies are poised to gain enough market share and economic power to obtain abusive levels over policy, and ultimately our entire food system.
Equal Exchange is attempting to organize citizens and consumers into a powerful lobby to protect the interests of the independent farmer and grower, the roaster and us, the consumer. We have the right to have access to the best, healthiest and tastiest coffee for our money. Equal Exchange works for justice for indigenous women and men who work the land to feed the families and the community. Equal Exchange is comprised of people around the globe who are fighting for food justice, democracy and the earth. You can find Equal Exchange at Wegman’s, Target, Hive, Thrive, or directly from their website. They also produce tea and chocolate. I find it comforting to know that I can get these products from a company that has all of our best interests in mind. For the record, I have no relationship with Equal Exchange or any of the other companies I mention in my blog. I receive no compensation from them or anyone else. I’m just trying to help us all help each other.
We can all join together to help one another. Go to equalexchange.coop/action-forum. Become an Action Forum Member.
See you again.
“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.” – Victor Hugo