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Community-supported coffee links farmers directly with customers

Retail

We’ve covered community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs before — including, just recently, Canadian Fresh Roots Urban Farm — but typically, such efforts are limited to locally grown food. Not so CoffeeCSA, a new, farmer-owned initiative that brings coffee from around the world into the CSA fold. Launched in April by the California-based Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, CoffeeCSA now delivers organic, fair trade coffee grown by its farmer-members in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua direct to consumers’ doors. To get started, coffee lovers simply visit the CoffeeCSA site and choose the farmer they’d like to buy from. Included with each farmer’s photo is the size of his or her total harvest and location along with prices and shipping charges. Either way, consumers then choose the quantity they’d like delivered each month and complete their order online. Prices typically begin at about USD 15 per pound, plus USD 10 for delivery. Farmers’ beans are then shipped direct to subscribers each month, stopping only at CoffeeCSA’s California roaster on the way. Farmers, meanwhile, receive 100 percent of the price consumers pay to CoffeeCSA. Thaleon Tremain, CoffeeCSA’s CEO, explains: “For people who treasure their coffee experience, CoffeeCSA is a powerful way to make a direct connection to the farmer. Subscribers secure their own personal share of a specific coffee harvest and support an individual farmer who works hard to grow the finest single-origin coffee available today. This is a real relationship, and a commitment which goes far beyond a label on a bag.” There’s no doubt the locavore movement is still going strong, and CoffeeCSA brings a similar philosophy to the growing and buying of coffee. Currently, however, the group delivers only within the United States; who will bring something similar to the rest of the world? Spotted by: Jim Stewart

Email: info@coffeecsa.org

Website: www.coffeecsa.org

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