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Posted by Julia Baumgartner at about 10am on Tuesday November 8, 2011
There’s something special about El Salvador--the history, the struggle, the per severance of the people, the edge...something that draws you in to this tiny country, like a strange addiction. I caught the bug early on, after being sucked into the culture and the wonderful people days after my 16th birthday. This October, I celebrated my 11th return to El Salvador to visit two coffee cooperatives, historical sites left from the civil war, participate in the First International Gathering of Small Producer Symbol, and to return to the community that initially opened my eyes to this country some ten years ago.
This visit was part of another Farmer to Farmer exchange and I was fortunate to travel together with Monika Firl of Cooperative Coffees, Rebecca Hurlen Patano from Doma Coffee Roasting Company, and Glenn Lathrop of Desert Sun. We spent the week with both APICAFE and Las Marias 93 in the eastern region of El Salvador further developing our young relationships and exploring the possibility of sourcing Salvadoran coffee.
We participated in a workshop with FUNDE (the National Development Foundation) who is working on a project that is being carried out within the five cooperatives organized under the umbrella group APICAFE to renovate farms, build infrastructure, acquire organic certifications and financing, improve marketing, and advance organic agriculture technologies.
Posted by Julia Baumgartner at about 3pm on Monday November 7, 2011
Last week, Cristian Guzman Merlos traveled to Madison on behalf of her Cooperative CopeLuz and La Fundacion Entre Mujeres (FEM). From cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, markets, classrooms, farm fields, gardens, meeting rooms, to kitchen tables, Cristian shared with consumers her story of how she came to be a 22 year old member of La FEM, coffee farmer, college student, accountant for her cooperative, and confident young leader. Throughout her stay, Cristian became familiar with how her product is sold on the other side of the market while teaching our community about the coffee process, cooperative organizations, and women’s empowerment.
Posted by Julia Baumgartner at about 12pm on Tuesday October 25, 2011
Join Just Coffee Cooperative for a series of community events during the week of October 26th-November 1st. Cristian Dolores Guzman Marlos will be joining us from La FEM in Esteli, Nicaragua to meet community members and share with us the wonderful work of La FEM.
Throughout the week, we will be updating our community on what Just Coffee as well as our producer partners have been up do. And with many changes in the fair trade movement as of late, we would like to include consumers and other community members into the conversation, so come out and join us (especially on Saturday!!).
The weeks events include:
Wednesday, October 26th: UW Green House Event
Presentation by Just Coffee and La FEM
UW Green House Den Cole Hall
Free coffee provided
Friday, October 28th: Family Farm Defenders Farm tour (Bison, mushroom, dairy, CSA Farm)
Meet at Just Coffee at 9:00 am if interested in joining us!
1129 E. Wilson St.
Saturday, October 29th:
CELEBRATION PARTY AT JUST COFFEE WORLD HEADQUARTERS!!
Posted by Julia Baumgartner at about 3pm on Thursday September 1, 2011
August marked the second of many Farmer to Farmer exchanges and the end of a summer filled with thousands of miles of travel. The last stop took me to Piura, Peru to spend some time with CEPICAFE, a cooperative well known throughout the country for their success in diversification efforts with cacao, coffee, sugar, fruit production, ecotourism, and carbon capturing. As a larger secondary level cooperative, CEPICAFE works to organize 400 small organizations, grouping together 7000 total producers in the northern region of this South American country. During these troubled high market times, a trio made up of myself, Ariel Chait, an Information and Technology graduate student from Berkeley, and Clay Roper, a roaster from Third Coast Coffee Roasting Company in Austin, Texas joined forces to participate in an exchange between Cooperative Coffees and CEPICAFE. We had come to focus on fair trade strategies, participate in a roasting workshop, as well as developing an internal inventory management software to help the coop manage real-time their production flow and tracking.