Well-intentioned philanthropy may be the worst thing you can do to help communities develop economically and just giving things for free rarely meets long-term needs in a sustainable way. In fact, flooding a local market with free clothes and other commodities may kill the local entrepreneurial businesses.
Almost all coffee is grown by family growers in developing regions. There are 25 Million of them. Most of the coffee producing communities rely almost entirely on coffee for their economy. Much of their coffee is sold at low commodity rates to traders and brokers, combined with other coffees, bought in bulk and processed and marketed by a massive and complex supply chain that delivers a generic product that is generic and stale by comparison.
We have found a better way. Our goal is to ignite lasting change in the communities that grow coffee. We discovered the most success in sustainable economic growth and community development comes from enabling local entrepreneurs and producers to be successful and provide a means for them to engage globally. Our approach is to find the growers and their communities that produce world-class product, select coffee in small specialty lots that retain their unique flavor characteristics, buy them at economically enabling prices, and deliver them to the market in a way that optimizes the product they rely on for family income and community development. When you buy coffee this way, the growers are paid a better share, they can invest more in wages and equipment and improving their product, their micro-mills and community cooperatives can pay higher wages and invest to produce better product and become more competitive, the community schools and services are upgraded and their communities are transformed. And, you get a much better and more unique cup of coffee.