For many of us, the first sip of coffee or tea in the morning is an instant relief, helping us make it through those first hours of the day.  But for millions of small-scale coffee farmers in rural communities around the world, coffee provides little relief.  Isolated from markets, subject to unstable prices, and wracked by debt, they struggle simply to live.  In recent years, overproduction of low-grade coffee has caused a crisis in the world market, resulting in widespread unemployment, abandonment of farms and hunger.

Coffee drinkers can take a simple but important action to address the injustice of the coffee market: purchase fair trade coffee.  Fair trade shares the bounty of the coffee trade with those who grow the crop, enabling the farmers to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

Equal Exchange is a fair-trade organization founded in 1986 and committed to fair trade on 100% of their coffee, tea and cocoa products.  By paying a fair price, offering affordable credit, supporting farmer cooperatives, encouraging ecologically sustainable farming practices, and building long-term trade partnerships based on trust and respect, Equal Exchange seeks to support small farmers as they build a better life for themselves and their families.  Through their Interfaith Program, thousands of places of worship have become involved in fair trade, making a difference in the lives of farming communities around the world.

By building honest partnerships — based on fair trade standards, efficient business practices and cooperative principles — between farmers and consumers, you can be part of a food system where you can feed your soul as well as your body.