- About MCC Washington
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The MCC U.S. Coffee Project links Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches with small farmers growing fair trade coffee.
Coffee is a big business—it is one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world. But for the majority of small coffee farmers, the benefits are small. The chain of events that leads from the coffee farmer to your cup is long and expensive, often leaving the farmer with very little to live on.
Most small coffee farmers live in isolated communities in some of the poorest countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They usually sell their coffee through intermediaries, known to Central American farmers as "coyotes." With prices in constant flux and coyotes offering the lowest price possible, farmers never know how much they will get for their crops.
Coffee farmers—some 25 million people often struggle just to make a simple living. In recent years farmers typically earn less than 50 cents per pound, not even enough to cover their production costs.
MCC began the Coffee Project in 2003 in partnership with Equal Exchange, as a way to assist small farmers around the world after coffee prices hit all-time lows.
The Coffee Project is co-sponsored by Ten Thousand Villages and Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA).
Drink Fairly Traded Coffee
Churches, colleges and businesses participating in the Coffee Project serve fairly traded coffee, tea and cocoa at various events. Members of churches can also join together to purchase fair trade products for use in their homes. There are two ways to purchase coffee:
Use the form on the right to order coffee and sign up for the coffee project.
Online purchases can be made at the Equal Exchange website. When you make an online purchase, please be sure to complete the form asking for congregational or denominational affiliation and contact information.
Be an Advocate
As a consumer, how you choose to spend your money and the products you choose to support sends a powerful message to the companies who provide those products.
You can also advocate to the U.S. government for trade justice.
Other Ways to Get Involved