The UCC Coffee Project
The UCC Coffee Project is a partnership between our UCC Justice and Witness Ministries and Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative founded over 25 years ago and dedicated to fair trade. Equal Exchange works with coffee, tea, cocoa, and sugar farmer-owned coops in 20 plus countries, helping farmers in places like Colombia, Sri Lanka, and the Dominican Republic support their families, plan for the future, and care for the environment.
Through the UCC Coffee Project, local churches and their members make a difference in the lives of farm families,
assuring they receive fair prices for their crops. And, for every pound of product UCC members order through the Project, Equal Exchange makes a donation to the UCC Small Farmer Fund, which assists family farmers in the Southern hemisphere.
Central has been participating in selling fair trade coffee products for 10 years. Along with supporting fair trade, the products are sold as a fund raiser for Mission & Action causes. Mission & Action began the project to help raise funds for a church van to be used for Plymouth Harbor, to help transport families to visit their loved ones in prison and for youth trips. With the support of the congregation, we continued to sell products to send two delegates to Chiapas, Mexico where Mind, Body and Soul coffee is produced. The delegates witnessed first hand the benefits of supporting fair trade and the living conditions of the coffee producers. Their homes were equipped with a “three stone” cooking stove. An open campfire burning inside their living area. Equal Exchange worked with partners to provide inexpensive stoves that allowed for the cooking fumes to ventilate through the roof rather than accumulate in the home providing better living conditions and health benefits to the whole family. Last year money from the coffee fund was used to help cover needed repairs to the church van.
Equal Exchange also has a program called Holy Joe’s Cafe to send fair trade coffee to troops. This really helps boost their morale. Funds are collected from donations to purchase a case of coffee and to cover the shipping. The Coffee fund has supplemented this endeavor. Below is a copy of a letter Central received after our last donation.
Central UCC brews Equal Exchange coffee, and volunteers staff a sales station in The Commons the second and third Sunday
of each month. Please help support fair trade and enjoy the wonderful coffees, teas, chocolates and olive oil.