Red Cherry Challenge

December 24, 2014

Coffee farmers confront many challenges, especially given a coffee crop's long, vulnerable maturation time and sensitivity to sunlight, temperature, drought, and fungus. It's a long and risky journey from the soil to your cup!


Coffee cherries and climate change
Climate change has led to unpredictable weather patterns in the last several years, putting farms at risk of decreased production or total devastation. Unusually heavy rainfall, unexpected dry spells, and abnormally high temperatures all threaten the health and life cycle of coffee trees and cherries — and the future of coffee entirely.

On top of that, climate variability allows other threats, like damaging insects and fungus, to thrive in an unprecedented way and cause large-scale damage. One of the biggest problems for farmers right now is the presence of coffee leaf rust, or la roya, which is a fungus that spreads rapidly and ravages coffee plants. Many coffee farms across Central America have already experienced substantial losses due to rust and are struggling to survive and move forward. 

Want to learn more? Read a reflection on coffee rust in Guatemala from Equal Exchange coffee buyer Carly Kadlec and a related New York Times article.

Red Cherry Challenge
Our good friends at Equal Exchange are aiming to raise $15,000 for the Red Cherry Fund, which will support farmers in El Salvador and Guatemala, two regions that have been most affected by climate change. This program will finance farmer-led initiatives that focus on farm resiliency and address local climate-change-related challenges. The result: innovation and problem solving by the people who know the land and its particular needs.

When you participate, 10 cents per pound of coffee you buy this year will go to the Red Cherry Fund! All Equal Exchange coffee sales from the Good Buy made through May 2015 will count toward the goal of reaching 150,000 pounds! You can also have your community group or church make their own pledge by signing up your organization today!

Photos courtesy of Equal Exchange.

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Recent Updates

Meet the Makers: Htoo

February 17, 2018

Meet Htoo, an artisan with Prosperity Candle who has resettled in the U.S. after a long journey as a refugee fleeing violence in Burma. Read about what you can do to support her, plus find more actions you can take for similar Rohingya refugees in Burma now.

Continue Reading →

FEM: Fundación Entre Mujeres

February 10, 2018

Last year, the total Equal Exchange contributed to UUSC's Small Farmer Fund was over $10,000! These funds are redistributed to support small farmer groups and cooperatives globally working to advance economic justice, including our new partner FEM. Learn more about the global impact of your purchases.

Continue Reading →

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

February 01, 2018

How much do you really know about this decadent treat that most of us couldn’t live without? While you savor your Valentine's Day chocolate bar, we take a bite out of some delicious trivia, answering your questions surrounding everything cocoa.

Continue Reading →