For many of us, coffee is an every day routine. It charges us back to life. It makes our eyes go from sleepy to wide open. It replaces anxiety with power and it makes us feel sharp.
But what if our coffee could do more than wake us up? What if it gave children the opportunity to go to school? To lift lives? What if coffee could create a brighter future?
The island Idjwi, in the lake Kivu, is home to a plethora of coffee beans and coffee farmers. 10 % of the people of the islands people are dependent on the coffee production to survive. As a result, a sustainable coffee industry has the power to change the very fabric of its society.
Unfortunately, for most of Idjwi, the only way for individuals to sell their coffee is by smuggling resulting in a median salary of only 24 cents a day. Think about that for a moment…
Even a weeks worth of work producing the coffee would still not cover the cost of that one take away coffee we have in the morning.
All that said, Falling Whistles works with a coffee co-operative in Idjwi called CPNCK to give these coffee farmers access to export the coffee to a safe and open market rather than being forced to smuggle.
By insuring that these coffee farmers are getting paid fair for fair work, we can see the lives of them and their families being changed for the better. Our daily cup of coffee effects their daily life.
This experience has made the idea of an ethical supply change very human to us. Seeing how our choices in what we consume become part of the problem or solution has been eye opening to us here at Falling Whistles. So eye opening that we thought it was important to share with you.
So enjoy your coffee, but don't forget to ask your barista what they know about it. Do they know what effect this coffee purchase is having on the farmers and families involved in the making of it? They might not have an answer to this but by us showing interest we show the market that we care, helping to create change, one conversation at a time.
These are my thoughts and I'd love to hear yours. Towards peace.