February 23rd, 2008

Fair Trade Coffee from Freedom Fighters

It is Fair Trade fortnight next week, let’s be honest, fair trade coffee is not renowned for its great taste. Guido can recommend one fair trade coffee that tastes good and does good. Contra Café buys its coffee from a cooperative of 500 small-scale farmers in the north of Nicaragua. In the late 80s, many of the cooperative’s members fought with the Fuerza Democrática Nicaragüense to defeat the Sandinistas. In 1990, these farmers laid down their arms when Violeta Chammoro defeated Daniel Ortega at the polls.

Today, the farmers live in peace side by side with former Sandinista fighters. They cultivate coffee on their small mountain plots. In caring for their coffee, they aim to produce a quality bean, to maintain the environment on which they depend, and to provide for their families. Unfortunately, they often struggle to meet the needs of their families on the small and volatile profits from their farms. Contra Café aims to make their earnings larger and more consistent.

Rest assured that this is a premium, tasty coffee that also pays producers more than the Fair Trade price, but unlike Fair Trade, isn’t a handout, it is paying what this outstanding coffee merits.

There is also the pleasing ideological angle for those of us who supported their struggle for freedom when we serve it to our dinner party guests.

You can, as you pour for them, say that at the height of the Cold War, the Contra rebels bravely fought for political and economic freedom in Nicaragua against a Cuban-backed dictatorship. Their heroic efforts forced democratic elections and led to the fall of the Marxist Sandinista regime. Today, the cooperative of former Contras grows an exceptional coffee high in the mountains of northern Nicaragua. Contra Café roasts this outstanding coffee and delivers it fresh to your home. In addition a portion of Contra Café revenues are donated to Ollie North’s Freedom Alliance charity which provides scholarships for the children of active duty service members killed or disabled in the line of duty in Iraq.

Of course you should really drink it out of a Free Trade Coffee Mug, in the Fawkes household we won’t drink it any other way. So order the coffee online and help third world farmers who fought for freedom.



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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



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