UMCOR Coffee Project

equalexchange2We have Equal Exchange (fairly traded) coffee, chocolate, cocoa, tea, and nuts available in the church office. The coffee is available in regular and decaf, organic and non-organic, drip grind and whole bean in 12oz bags for $6.50. In addition to the coffee for sale in the church office, Equal Exchange coffee is served during the “coffee time” before Sunday School.

From the UMCOR Coffee Project:

Coffee is big business – it’s one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world. But for the majority of small coffee farmers, the benefits are small. The chain of events that leads from the coffee farm to your cup is long, often leaving the farmer with very little to live on.

Most small coffee farmers live in isolated communities in some of the poorest countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Cut off from markets, they usually sell their coffee through middlemen, known to Central American farmers as “coyotes.” With world prices in constant flux and coyotes offering the lowest price possible, farmers never know how much they’ll get for their crops.

Some 20 million people living near the equator depend on coffee for their livelihood. In their struggle just to make a simple living, the producers of a rich crop are often trapped in poverty. In recent years, a crisis in the world coffee market has meant that many farmers typically receive less than the cost of production for their beans.

But there is an alternative: FAIR TRADE. Fair trade shares the bounty of the coffee trade with those who grow the crop, helping them build a better future for themselves and their communities.

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The UMCOR Coffee Project is an innovative way to reach out to small-scale farmers in the developing world while enjoying fellowship and an excellent cup of coffee. As Christians we can address a consumer dilemma by buying coffee that is fairly traded. United Methodist congregations that participate are helping small scale farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia earn a fairer share of income, obtain access to credit and technical support, and gain a trading partner they can trust, a fair trade organization called Equal Exchange.

The mission committee spearheaded our participation in this project several years ago.

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