COVID19, Our Producer Partners, and What’s in Your Cup

If you’re enjoying a cup of coffee while you’re reading this during the pandemic, you know that coffee makes even the most stressful situations a little better--perhaps, in the case of a carefully roasted, organic, single-origin coffee, a lot better! As a conscious consumer, who cares about where products come from and the folks whose livelihoods depend on them, you may be wondering about our producer partners in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and what you can do to support them during this crisis. The good news: it’s as easy as drinking a good cup of coffee.

Desert Sun is a proud member of Coop Coffees, a cooperative coffee importer dedicated to building and maintaining strong relationships with our producer partners. As a member of Coop Coffees, we pay our producers almost twice fair trade price, and we support social and environmental sustainability through the Cool Farm Tool, our impact fund (a voluntary “tax” we pay on every pound of coffee bought), and other initiatives. Why? Because relationships matter. Today, as we look into an uncertain future, relationships are more important than ever.

Recently, the sourcing manager at Coop Coffees, Felipe Guardian Piza, provided us with an update about how our producer partners are faring. Like you, most of our producer partners are under stay-at-home orders. Perhaps unlike you, they don’t have ready access to healthcare and lack strong supply chains for basic needs. Our producer partners in Peru, for instance, lack access to adequate food supplies and in some cases are relying upon family and students home from school to assist in early harvesting. For that reason, Coop Coffees has elected to direct $130,000 from our Impact Fund to help our producer partners meet their emergent needs and continue to build resources for self-sufficiency to better withstand future challenges. 

Our producer partners are naturally anxious about the coming crop year and how contractions in the world economy might affect their livelihood. This is where the strength of our relationships is key, and your actions as a discerning consumer come into play. Coop coffees is committed to paying our producer partners well above fair trade. If you’re curious how much, check out our Fair Trade Proof page--every bean is accounted for! This goes a long way towards insulating our partners from the volatility of the coffee market.  Also, we are in constant communication with producers about our future needs so they can plan accordingly. It’s all about equitable, committed relationships between people who care deeply about the impact their product has on the world and on people's lives.

So what can you do? During times of crisis people don’t stop drinking coffee. But they may be willing to turn a blind eye to the true cost and quality of their coffee.  When you enjoy an excellent cup of coffee, whether from Desert Sun or another member of our Coop, you support all of these efforts toward equitable relationships, and you do so from the comfort of your own home, wearing sweatpants. From us at Desert Sun as well as our producer partners around the world, we thank you and love you for it!

Follow these links for more information on Desert Sun and Coop Coffees. For specific information on The Impact Fund and its effect on Carbon, Climate, and Coffee, click here. For information on coffee price crisis and Coop Coffees efforts to support our producer partners, click here.
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