This is a special month. I’m shaking things up for my featured interviewee. It’s the month of love and my birth month. What better way to celebrate with you than a month long fundraiser to one of my favorite causes, Coffee Kids. to help the coffee farmers that
But I need your help to reach the goal.
Simply click “Donate Now” to your right. Any amount is appreciated. You can also help by spreading the word about the fundraiser. Thank you for your support.
“Coffee Kids promotes self-determination, addressing the roots of poverty by helping coffee-farming families determine their own vision of the future.”
Learn more and how they help coffee farmers in the interview today with Kristina Morris Heredia, the Communications Coordinator at Coffee Kids.
DD: When did you start drinking coffee?
KM: Good question! Early teen years I suppose. Coffee shops gave us a slew of hip places to hang out, discuss very important things (I’m sure), and stay out of trouble. I don’t know that any of us actually knew much about what we were drinking. It was mostly about the ambiance and good friends spending time together.
DD: How are you involved in the coffee industry?
KM: Most of what I’ve learned about coffee has been through Coffee Kids. I worked as a barista through college. I moved to Veracruz, Mexico, for a number of years after that. That’s when I became interested in coffee farmers and not just the end product. However, my time immersed in the specialty coffee industry since coming aboard Coffee Kids has been very educational and I’m grateful for all that I’ve learned so far and will continue to learn from these amazing people in the industry.
DD: When and why did you join Coffee Kids?
KM: I joined Coffee Kids in 2010. I had seen the ad for a communications and marketing coordinator. I felt like all of my interests came together in a job that is both meaningful and a lot of fun. I have a deep respect for my coworkers and the work we do as a coffee community. It’s nice to know that the hours I put into Coffee Kids are hours that help improve the quality of life of coffee farmers.
DD: What is Coffee Kids and why should all coffee lovers care?
KM: Coffee Kids is a nonprofit development organization dedicated to promoting self-determination among coffee farmers. Together we address the roots of poverty by helping coffee-farming families and communities determine their own vision of the future. We partner with organizations in coffee communities to create programs that alleviate poverty and help make coffee a more sustainable industry.
Coffee lovers should care because these are your coffee farmers we’re talking about. They make your cup of coffee possible, and the system is incredibly unfair. Fair trade and direct trade have done a lot to help establish fairer prices and more just buying practices, but they are not enough to solve the problem. We are all components of a greater solution. The fact that we do not engage in the commercialization of coffee lets us help the farmers who need it most, regardless of where they are on their path to sustainable, high-quality coffee cultivation, and regardless of what supply chain they cater to. When we partner with an organization in a coffee community, we’re in it for the long haul. We’re in it to help them meet their immediate needs, but also to help their projects become self-sustaining, so that they no longer depend on outside funding.
Coffee is in trouble. Many factors, such as climate change, the global economic system and the economic and political challenges many coffee-farming countries face, come together to create a heavy burden for coffee farmers. They need our help. And we depend on them to keep the industry going. In the end, it’s simply the right thing to do. We are all in this together, especially as members of the coffee industry, which includes those who simply enjoy a nice cup of coffee.
DD: What type of Projects does Coffee Kids support?
KM: Coffee Kids focuses on five program areas: food security, capacity building, education, health care and economic diversification. All of our projects come from the communities themselves and they all are part of a long-term sustainability plan.
DD: What are some ways coffee lovers can get involved?
KM: Perhaps one of the most significant ways you can show that you value quality coffee is by investing in the communities that make your daily cup possible.
There are a number of ways to put your money where it can have the most impact in coffee-growing communities. One of them is to donate directly to Coffee Kids. You can do this as a one-time contribution or through our monthly subscription program, which allows us to have a reliable stream of income. You can also work with local organizations, cafes and universities to hold fundraisers, or create your own, much like Jennifer is doing for her birthday. You can also visit our donor listing on our website to see if your favorite coffee shop supports us. If they do, you can thank them and let them know that their support of coffee-farming families is important to you.
We are also always grateful for advocates: those who make change happen by helping to educate those around us about the issues coffee farmers face and how we can all make a difference.
We’re all part of the coffee continuum and can do our part to make it a more sustainable and equitable industry. The projects begin with the coffee farmers, but the funding begins with each of us.
About Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a development organization dedicated to promoting self-determination for coffee-farming communities, addressing the roots of poverty by helping coffee-farming families to determine their own vision of the future. We partner with organizations in coffee communities to create programs that alleviate poverty and help make coffee a more sustainable industry. Please visit www.coffeekids.org for more information.