One of the things I love most about good food and drinks is the relationships that are formed around them. Whether it's eating as a family at the dinner table, sharing a beer with neighbors or bringing a meal to someone in need, there's something beautiful that can happen through the medium of food.
That beauty extends even further when relationships are built between the end user and the farmer. I've seen this most recently in the realm of coffee. As I've learned more about coffee, I'm encouraged to hear about businesses and organizations working hard to craft an incredible product and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. It's not just about what's in the final brewed cup, but it's about the relationships that are developed throughout the entire process.
FreshGround Roasting is one of those companies, and they recently shared about the struggle that many coffee farmers are facing. "La roya" (also known as coffee rust) has destroyed much of the coffee crop throughout Central America. That doesn't just mean I can't get my favorite single-origin coffee from FreshGround anymore. Much more importantly, it means that families' livelihoods are destroyed. Their craft, their source of income...devastated.
Fortunately, there are organizations like Growers First and Vournas Coffee Trading working alongside farmers in Central America to help with the recovery effort. More specifically, these organizations are currently working to plant 250,000 coffee trees in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Why 250,000? Each farming family needs 1,000 trees to be sustainable and profitable over the next 20 years. Growers First would like to help 250 families replace the crops they have lost.
FreshGround has committed to fund 1,000 of those trees - enough to support 1 family farm for 20 years. Currently as I write, 237 of those trees have been funded. Would you help us reach our goal of 1,000 trees? Each tree costs only $1 and you can easily donate online through FreshGround's website.
This is where food and relationships meet. While we may never meet our brothers and sisters in Central America, we can support them. We can help fund coffee trees in Oaxaca that will help family farms be sustainable and profitable for the long term, despite the destruction from coffee rust.
For more information or to donate, click here.
Photos courtesy of Vournas Coffee Trading.