Most of us begin our day with a steaming cup of hot java, be it expresso or drip; we love our cool beans. Their rich, dark flavor gives us the daily courage to go out and do good work.
But how many of us think about where those beans came from and who planted, harvested, and packed them? How did this delicious brew get to our morning mug?
The history of coffee has a dark side steeped in human exploitation.
Native to Ethiopia, coffees’ popularity percolated rapidly in the 1600s. Traded throughout the Middle East, Europe, and later in the Americas, its success was dependent on displacing native indigenous communities with plantations, using slave labor to grow profits.
The remnants of this colonial land grab and the heritage of human slavery continue today with estimates of more than 40 million people trapped in forced labor.
Behind all the food that we eat is a vast realm of unaccounted for consequences: the diversion of water, the extraction of nutrients from soil, the discharge of pollutants to air and water, and the exaction of cheap labor to grow, pick, and package it.
When we shine a light into our mug, it becomes clear that the global costs of coffee production are more than we pay upfront.
Grace Farms, a not-for-profit organization, and its newly created company, Grace Farms Foods, aim to change that through a new model of social entrepreneurship.
Grace Farms Foods was created to extend the mission of Grace Farms through ethically and sustainably sourced food. They believe that the food we choose can serve a greater purpose in the world and in our lives.
One simple cup of coffee can be a platform to address one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our generation— inequality and human slavery.
Grace Farms Foods offers delicious, premium whole-bean coffees that are certified Fairtrade and organic, sourced exclusively from women-led co-ops in Ethiopia, Colombia, and Indonesia, and delivered directly to your door.
Their six-year commitment to partnering and procuring from these co-ops has fostered growth and meaningful employment for women in those communities.
The Ketiara co-op in Sumatra began with only 38 members. Today, more than 2,000 farmers enjoy fair compensation working in its safe and equitable conditions.
Fairtrade America is recognized as the gold standard of fair-trade certifications. It offers an alternative approach to trade based on partnership instead of exploitation; a partnership with those growing our food, those selling it, and those enjoying it.
When you savor Grace Farms Foods’ brew, you not only ensure the beans were ethically and sustainably sourced, but also contribute 100% of the profits from your purchase directly to ending forced labor worldwide through Grace Farms’ Design for Freedom movement.
Mindfully, we can create a new way of doing business, one that is centered on equality, justice, and giving back. This National Coffee Day, celebrate with a cup that gives back to the communities who produce our beloved daily grind.
It’s great to savor that perfect brew, but it’s even greater to be a part of the peace-building humanitarian initiatives of Grace Farms.
Begin your day with a cup of purpose from Grace Farms Foods and be part of an inspiring movement to end forced labor. It will take all of us to restore balance and peace in the world. Let’s do it one delicious drip at a time.