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Laurent in Ethiopia

"Ethiopia is a beautiful and mysterious country, with more than 80 different ethnic groups. This is one of the few African countires that was never colonized by a foreign nation; they were occupied for "only" five years by Italy. For this reason, there is a unique atmosphere in Ethiopia. There is a very strong musical tradition that traverses from traditional music to contemporary music (original Ethiopian style jazz); it can be found everywhere in Addis Ababa and i small towns around the country.

I was warmly greeted by Berhanu (Sidama Union), who introduced me to his family, including his children. We also met Bache, a small producer of coffee, 40 years old, and father of seven children, who greeted me warmly in his fields of coffee. He cultivates 0.5 ha and is descended from a family farm of over 14 generations! His great pride is to cultivate a coffee that is consumed around the world for which he uses only compost and natural fertilizers.

Sidama coffee is known worldwide for its taste. The fair trade premium has, among other things, allowed Bache to send his children to a school built by the cooperative. In a few words, thisis a top country, with top residents and a unique coffee in the world!"

Cecile and Boris in Peru

"Peru is Peru!

Extraordinary colors and breathtaking scenery, with mountains so high and so beautiful, you feel you can reach out and touch them. There is exuberant flora, and diverse vegetation, depending on the altitude. The history is very rich, with mixed Spanish-Inca culture in complete opposition. The people are models of simplicity but with enormous hearts. It's the country where i witnessed many lovers of life, of all ages. What most impressed me is the patience with which they educate their children. They know that the wealth of their country depends on the education of their children; everything revolves around ensuring that this journey continues.

The COCLA Cooperatives, (a collection of 23 entities), are made up of people very upright, very proud of their status and their work, whether salaried managers or producers. For them it is their lives, their freedom, which gives them the opportunity to eat; but above all, it gives them the opportunity to grow and learn. They like to have new contacts, and to talk about the Earth; here it is Mother Earth! And we respect it! They speak about "organic", there is no talk of using chemicals, because Mother Earth is part of triptych of the Inca, with the sun and air; It must be respected. Here, reforestation is a taken to be normal, like respect for biodiversity; it makes sense. And then the quality of coffee, they work it with the awarness of a product that is shared across the oceans.

With these amazing  producers, we small European actors are sharing and taking care of all the diversity, and that is why we are doing this job every day. That's why it's important that everyone can understand every step of the process, the growth of coffee until the actual purchase made by our consum'actor, the importance of every gesture. At the other end of this single packet of red coffee, you have producers who expect feedback, not only the "comercio justo" as he calls it, but this time sharing a cup of coffee"


Catherine in Ethiopia

"Hello everyone,

Back several months ago i made an audit in Ethiopia. I still have a fabulous memory and found it immensely rewarding. At first the country: the discovery of a country relatively free of visible material wealth, but abundant with natural and human wealth.

The cooperative Hafursa, lost in the Yirgacheffe region, and having recently joined the fair trade premium were revolutionizing the village: the installation of electricity was seen as a big change, and most people older than us who we had the opportunity to meet seemed so happy be present at what they called "the arrival of new technologies!"

It's amazing how a trip like this can give us such a shock. Thanks to this experience I was able to see the whole point of our work downstream in our offices at the Bastille in Paris. Producers have a strong desire to offer fair trade buyers their best coffee, because they receive better pay. Many cooperatives belonging to the union of cooperatives YCFCU want to join the network of fair trade. But for that, as fair trade actors, we must first increase our purchase volumes (and therefore sales markets of the North!). Then more cooperatives producers can participate and share in the benefits of fair trade."


From the producers

"With fair trade we could have electricity in the village. This has improved our daily lives. I'm confident for the future. I hope this is the beginning of  along relationship and that we can continue to enhance our partnership."
AYELE BATO, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia, 2006

"With the marketing of fair trade products in 1999, we planned to build roads but due to a hurricane, we used the profits to rehabilitate damaged plantations and develop parcels for new plants."
Testimony Isodoro de la Rosa, Director of CONACADO, produer of cocoa, Dominican Republic.

"Fair trade coffee brings hope to our families and our land, as we can build our lives"
Testimony of Julio Cesar Lopez, producer of coffee, UCIRI, Mexico