A Note of Thanks to All Who Bought Fair Trade Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa in 2014
Equal Exchange and all of the farmers who belong to the cooperative and the communities that have benefited from your purchases would like to thank those whose purchases supported projects to improve their lives all around the world. Over one million pounds of organic, fairly traded cocoa beans and 500,000 pounds of traded cocoa beans went into the chocolate products, including their delicious cocoa. Equal Exchange customers enjoyed over 5.5 million pounds of fairly traded coffee.
Some of the projects these purchases supported are:
The Uganda Stove Project to help Ugandan women build energy-efficient cooking stoves that are 50% more efficient that their traditional stoves and provide a smoke-free environment for their homes.
The Red Cherry Project to help farmers in Guatemala and El Salvador deal with the coffee rust problem and other climate change-related issues that are making it harder for farmers to sustain their coffee farms.
The Small Producer Symbol program that is a certification run and governed by small-scale farmers.
A conference of farmer-to-farmer workshops and networking to provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers to help each other and share their knowledge and experiences.
The Grow Together Fund to support a cashew tree-planting project in a Honduran cooperative. Rather than simply fund the project, the program created a Revolving Loan Fund to make short-term loans to cooperative members.
There are many more projects that your purchases support throughout the year. All of them involve cooperative members and the communities in which they are located choose which projects to undertake and take part in managing them. Another key ingredient is sustainability. Because these projects are initiated at the local level and not imposed from above, they are more likely to be successful and long-term.
Once again, thank you for your support in 2014 and don’t forget to stop by the Fair Trade cart on your way to Fellowship Hall following worship. We operate on the honor system, so pick up your coffee, tea and/or cocoa and drop payment in the offering plate the next week.