Art in a Cup
by Bruce Milletto
Support Fair Trade Communities in Tsunami Affected Areas
From Transfair USA
Growing Closer: Roasters Blend Results with Altruism
by Nick Obourn
What's Brewin' New Coffee News
Support Fair Trade Communities in Tsunami
Courtesy of Transfair USA
UPDATE 1 – January 14th
How are Fair Trade communities being affected by the Asian earthquake
The staff and Board of Directors of TransFair USA share the grief
felt around the globe for the victims of the tsunami disaster
and their families and loved
ones. Many Fair Trade cooperatives and farms that we work with are in the affected
countries, and we would like to share information about these communities with
you as we find it over the coming weeks.
Here is a breakdown of Fair Trade organizations in the affected countries:
1. India: 29 tea producer groups, 10 tea exporters, 1 coffee producer group
2. Indonesia: 4 coffee producer groups
3. Sri Lanka: 15 tea producer groups, 6 tea exporters
4. Thailand: 1 coffee producer group, 1 coffee exporter
Report from TransFair USA
We are grateful that reported loss of life and physical damage has been minimal
in the Fair Trade organizations, which are situated mostly inland and at higher
altitudes, though the trauma and desolation is widespread. In solidarity with
their people, members of Fair Trade organizations are finding ways to pitch in
and assume leadership in the recovery efforts.
Our Producer Relations staff is in contact with numerous partner organizations
and with producer partners to gather updates regarding export transportation
delays and other information about how the communities have been affected.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated parts of the
west and east coasts of Sumatra, in one of the top five coffee producing
countries in the world. Indonesia’s death toll has exceeded 80,000.
Coffee producers live in Aceh, near the reported epicenter of the quake.
An update Monday from a representative of the Sumatra coffee project reported
at least two families in the growers co-op PPKGO were killed when their homes
fell in on them. He also reported that many roads used to transport coffee
from growers to the ports were blocked. The wet mill, used to process coffee
sustained damage. The largest warehouse remains intact and is being used
as temporary shelter for those who have lost their homes. The co-op is providing
supplies of food and clothing to its members in need. The growers’ children
attended schools in the heavily hit provincial capital of Banda Aceh. At
this time 13 are reported missing.
TransFair producer relations spoke with seven representatives of tea gardens
in India who reported that members are safe. Most report no physical damage
to the gardens, but shipments are delayed. The two most affected states in
according to producers, are Tamil nadu and Kerala.
In a January 6 communication from the United Nilgiri Tea Estates Co. Ltd.,
we received the following: “Thank you very much for your concern. It
means a lot to us. The tsunami devastated part of Tamilnadu. Our garden is
up in the hills; but nonetheless the shock of many deaths and such desolation
and devastation is horrible for all in Tamilnadu. Most of the victims are
women and children. We have contributed one day salary to the Relief Fund.
also requested the district administration our willingness to adopt 20 children
who have been orphaned in the disaster.”
Representatives of Bio Foods report that farmers were not directly affected but
that there are delays in exporting shipments.
No immediate losses reported. More information forthcoming.
All producer partners have indicated that they are safe and that shipments and
infrastructure are not affected.
What you can do in collaboration with some of our Fair Trade partners:
- The Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International has collected a list of
producer partner group websites to make donations directly to Sri Lanka, India,
See here for
- Coffee Kids and ForesTrade: Contributions to the
Sumatra Relief Fund will benefit coffee farming families in the heavily
affected area of Aceh in Sumatra
are being sent to the PPKGO cooperative, and more information about
the cooperative will be available on our
web site shortly. Donate
- Oxfam America is providing clean water, food, temporary shelter, and sanitation
facilities to affected areas of India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia Donate
- The Café Femenino Foundation is receiving funds to provide food,
medical assistance, and infrastructure repairs in affected areas of Sumatra.
- Global Giving: Give directly to local organizations running sustainable reconstruction
projects in SE Asia. With the help of leading non-profits like Ashoka, Give India,
and World Neighbors, you can drive relief at a grass roots level. From medical
camps to food to sanitation supplies, you can choose exactly which efforts your
donation will support. Together, we can help get assistance to those most in
need. To read about specific projects per country and to donate, click
UPDATE 1 – January 14th
In a January 13 communication, TransFair was informed by the Rungwe Smallholder
Tea Growers Association (RSTGA) that most of the growers are safe as they are
1600 km from Dar es Salaam where at least ten people have died. The RSTGA is
a tea garden with 15,000 Small Producers owning 3.6 million hectars divided into
However, the Rungwe Mbeya region was affected by very strong
wind accompanied by heavy torrential rains on January
12 which uprooted bananas and corn
crops. Also, the roof of the RSTGO’s newly erected high school
Ukukwe Secondary was destroyed as well as other nearby properties by
Secondary had been built with the help of Fair Trade Premium funds. This
month the high
school will be re-opened but students will study in one classroom.
Rice producers in Thailand report that no problems in their region.
Sumatra, Indonesia - January
7 update from Forestrade
Fortunately, ForesTrade and PPKGO’s Aceh Sustainable Coffee Project
is located three hours inland, in the Gayo highlands region near the
town of Takengon.
The coffee communities in this area sustained significant structural
damage from the earthquakes, and sadly several family members of PPKGO
homes collapsed. While shelter and reconstruction is needed in Takengon,
the area was spared from the much more severe devastation caused by the
tsunamis in the coastal lowland parts of Aceh.
Communication out of Aceh is improving and we’ve begun receiving
more timely news through our office in Padang, West Sumatra. From the
it is clear that the coastal communities of Banda Aceh in the North and
Bireun on the Eastern coast are two areas where the magnitude of emergency
is most needed. ForesTrade, PPKGO and our partnering coffee processor,
CV Trimaju have decided to focus the bulk of their immediate relief efforts
in these coastal
areas, where the needs are immense.
Calls and emails continue to stream into ForesTrade Vermont from concerned
customers, investors, friends, and colleagues around the world, who
want to know how the
relief efforts are going.
January 6 update from Fair Trade Label Japan
Suguru Matsuki, Director, Wakahciai Project & Fairtrade Label Japan
One staff arrived in Aceh on January 3rd. Areas called “Bosko” in
Aceh are receiving relief goods. Mr. Uno from the Japanese Fair Trade
National Initiative, is now in Aceh with other staff. They have brought
of used clothing, rice, cans of food and sanitary items. They are also
planning on bringing
relief goods to Nias Island which is near to the epicenter. They report
that Nias has not received any relief workers yet.
The PPKGO's Direct Mobilization Efforts:
- Immediately after the earthquake
struck on December 26th, PPKGO and our partnering coffee
processor CV Trimaju provided temporary shelter
to people in the Gayo
Highlands who lost their homes in the earthquake.
- A search party was sent from Takengon to Banda Aceh to try
and locate family members, and especially children from the
who were attending
schools in the Capitol City. Tragically, 13 children of
PPKGO members are still missing and presumed to be dead. Many
other people are still
- Tuesday January 4th, PPKGO and CV Trimaju collected 8 truckloads
of rice, fresh vegetables, and other supplies from Takengon
and 20 co-op
members loaded up their
trucks and drove down to Banda Aceh to distribute the
food and supplies. This was the second round of such deliveries.
- A delivery of food and supplies was also made to Bireun on
Aceh's east coast.
- With each delivery the members are staying in the area for
3 to 5 days and volunteering their time and labor to help
in the relief work.
The PPKGO has a long standing history
of community relations and promoting humanitarian activities
in the Takengon area. ForesTrade wants to ensure
all charitable donors
that any relief work resulting from your donations are being broadly
distributed to all those communities in need in Takengon, and critical
areas in Aceh Province.
ForesTrade expects to receive photos and other documentation about
the relief efforts shortly and will share these with you as soon as
Sumatra Relief Work in Aceh, Sumatra - Indonesia How Your Donations
to Coffee Kids, Café Femenino Foundation and Counterpart
International are Being Used in the Sumatra Relief Effort:
Donations will be used to help relief efforts for coffee growers and
their families in the Takengon coffee region, as well as, providing
emergency aid to the most
severely affected areas in Aceh Province. Currently the areas identified
as having the greatest needs for relief work are in the coastal areas
of Banda Aceh in
the north and Bireun on the east coast.
Immediate/Emergency Relief Efforts Will Address:
- Collection and delivery of rice,
fresh vegetables, sarongs and blankets for people in Banda
Aceh and Bireun where
immediate relief needs are
- Provision of temporary shelter to
those people who lost their homes in the coffee growing
area of Takengon as a
result of the
- The current immediacy is for food, shelter and medicines.
When these immediate needs are alleviated, and if resources
will later expand
to include the following activities.
- Reparation of water systems in coffee
growing communities to ensure clean water supplies
- Reconstruction of homes in Takengon coffee growing communities
ForesTrade's local offices in Indonesia
and the U.S. are monitoring the use of donated funds and
results of your support.
The funds used to date, to initiate and mobilize these relief
efforts have come from ForesTrade, PPKGO and CV Trimaju, including
sent by ForesTrade.
As donations are received and channeled from Coffee Kids, Café Femenino
Foundation and Counterpart International, funds will be used to
further support these efforts and increase our ability to reach
out and help
those in need.
We thank you for all your donations made to the relief efforts,
and for your continued support and solidarity with our friends
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,
is the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products
in the United States. Through regular visits
to Fair Trade farmer cooperatives conducted by Fairtrade Labelling Organizations
International (FLO), and partnerships with US companies, TransFair verifies
that the farmers who produced Fair Trade Certified™ products were paid
a fair price.