Monday, April 1, 2013

US coffee roaster expands direct trade relationship with Honduran farmers

Ohio's Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea is expanding its direct trade relationships with small-plot farmers in El Socorro, aiming to help develop a sustainable coffee harvest and a better quality of life for local farmers retain a larger share of the revenue.
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, a Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster and coffee shop franchise alternative, is continuing its work with small coffee farmers in Honduras to develop a sustainable coffee harvest and a better quality of life for local workers and their children.
Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert recently returned from a visit with David Lopez, who runs a coffee farm and wet mill in El Socorro, Honduras. Crimson Cup has been working with local farmers in the region since 2011.
“David has an incredible story of the power of education,” Ubert said. “He grew up in El Socorro and attended school through the sixth grade, but had to leave to further his education. After graduating high school, he got a job at a larger coffee mill, learning many processes that hadn’t been implemented in El Socorro. He then returned home, started his own coffee mill, and began teaching other farmers what he had learned.”
During this trip, Ubert met with a number of local farmers to discuss consistency in growing and processing methods. “We advise the farmers on growing and processing techniques that improve the quality of the coffee, and are then able to pay more for their crop than they receive on the open market,” he said.
He also donated new desks for the computer lab and funds for a playground fence around the community’s Jose Cecilio del Valle elementary school, in which a single teacher instructs about 60 children between first and sixth grades.
“Honduras is one of the world’s poorer countries, and the government doesn’t spend a great deal on schools in rural areas,” Ubert explained. “By improving the educational environment, we’re hoping that more students like David will have an opportunity to continue their education and contribute to their communities.”
Crimson Cup’s growing Direct Trade program works with coffee farmers to build mutually beneficial relationships and provide Crimson Cup with coffee for its hand-roasted micro-lot, single origin and blended coffees.
“By establishing direct-trade relationships with small-plot farmers, we’re helping farmers and their workers retain a larger share of the revenue from the world’s largest cash crop,” Ubert said.
He pointed out that direct trade is a winning strategy for everyone involved. “Coffee farmers and their workers achieve a better standard of living, coffee roasters secure a lasting supply of quality coffee, and coffee house customers enjoy truly delicious coffee produced in harmony with the environment and humanity.”
This is only one of several trips to coffee’s countries of origin that Crimson Cup will take this year. Team members have already visited Costa Rica and Guatemala, and Ubert plans to return to Honduras in a few weeks.

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