I attended the Trade Aid Fair Coffee seminar where Tadesse Meskela, general manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Co-operative Union in Ethiopia came to talk about Fair Trade coffee. Tadesse is best known as creating the Black Gold documentary check out the trailer below
Coffee, known as the next black gold just behind oil.
Some quick facts about coffee farmers before the OCFCU was established by Tadesse
– Only 22% of people in Ethopia had access to drinkable water
– 90% of farmers and their families lived on less than $2 per day
– 30 doctors were available for every one million people
– Annual income for coffee farmers was $97 per year
These facts will shock you, because they certainly shocked me. These people lived in poverty, worked long hours and didn’t even get paid their worth.
So Tadesse set up the OCFCU Union purpose was:
To improve the farmer’s income by selling their coffee for better prices
To improve quality, productivity and sustainability of coffee
To enable farmers negotiation power for better prices and stabilise the local market and
To assist coffee communities in providing social services such as school, health centers and clean water to the wider community
Did you know coffee grows on tree?
Since this union was formed profits from selling coffee at a fair price is given back to farmers so they can afford essentials like health care, water and providing their families with food and shelter. Also, this Co-Op has helped farmers come out of poverty and start living a better life.
So maybe next time you go out to buy a coffee remember where it comes from and try to buy Fair Trade coffee.
Us as consumers have a choice to buy something fair trade for example which will help coffee farmers in Ethopia, the coffee farmers don’t have a choice. Will you help make a difference?!
Below is a photo of Tenesse and me
Find out where your coffee money goes Click here
The Fair Trade movement is growing as people realize that they can help alleviate poverty and protect the environment by choosing Fair Trade products.
— Robert Alan