(Photos courtesy of Peace Coffee)
In an industry beset by unfair credit practices and delays, local roasters Peace Coffee and its parent organization, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), are offering an innovative new financing model.The groups are spearheading the Grow Ahead Foundation, an initiative where coffee drinkers can offer guaranteed loans to farmers and be paid back at the end of the season.
While coffee is the second most traded global commodity (after oil), fair trade coffee is a small scale product. According to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the farms that provide this product average less than eight acres per farm. Considering the nearly one-year delay between the blossoming of coffee flowers, the ripening, picking, and roasting of the fruit, and ultimately brewing coffee beans in your machine, the business plan for fair trade farmers is a complicated and risky endeavor that relies on loans to cover the start-to-finish process. MORE »