Beyond leaf rust and volatile C prices, our biggest challenge as farmers is each other.
A recent Facebook post by the Barista Magazine exemplifies this lack of support farmers give to each other. The post was an image of a great farmer from El Salvador, Aida Batlle: an inspiring woman who put El Salvador on the Specialty Coffee scene.
You can read fellow El Salvadorean, Mr David Castro’s comment stating that she’s not a typical farmer from the country. Instead of celebrating Aida’s success, we get jealous and try to belittle her achievements to momentarily quench our insecurities.
If only more of us could realize that when a farmer like Aida does well it makes it a smidge easier for everyone else to do better.
It doesn’t matter if you are a poor farmer, a wealthy Oligarch of the past or anything in between. We have all experienced horrendous pain. Genocides, murders, bankruptcy, extreme poverty, losing properties due to nationalization, kidnapping of a loved one, crimes caused by drug traffickers, discrimination, rape, sexism, deceit. The pain is raw and real, running deep in our veins.
We are divided by our pain. The lack of unity creates an opportunity for others to benefit from our distrust, preventing us from moving forward.
This season we listened to over 150 distinct stories. The intention is to not dismiss any of these painful experiences. Our challenge is to face it, accept it, and move beyond.
Life is too short to plague our future with the pain of the past.
THE SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION
A platform based on transparency and trust uniting one farmer at a time.
This concept is the foundation of our business. We connect farmers and roasters, and pay the farmer the premium that is paid for the quality they produce.
So far in our second year of trading, we have created quite a buzz across Guatemala and El Salvador. We look forward to bringing real changes to more farmers in the upcoming season.
By making sure the farmer can cover their costs and reward their efforts for achieving quality, we can ensure that farming is sustainable. Thus encouraging farmers to keep growing coffee.
This maybe the first step in healing and moving beyond the pain. Dare I say reaping the benefits of hard work and having some fun?