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Once a week we will be featuring a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. This week’s activity is written by Kim Machnik, Senior Coordinator of School Programs at Heifer International.

Growing CoffeeWe’ve talked a lot about coffee around the office lately, and the conversation has been focused mostly on coffee growers and their families. Pierre Ferarri, president and CEO at Heifer International, also shared a little bit about Fair Trade and other alternatives to the conventional coffee market. But have you ever stopped to think about what happens in that conventional market -- and how many people and resources it takes to get your coffee to you? As it turns out, it takes a lot of human effort, as well as fuel, packaging materials, and time, to get coffee from bean to brew.

To learn more, try this activity from Heifer’s Get It! curriculum to discover the trail of the coffee trade. Print and cut out these steps in the coffee trade. Can you put them in order from beginning to end?


Coffee Flowchart


Why is it important to know how our coffee gets to us? Do you notice anything interesting, alarming, or exciting in the trail of the coffee trade? Do you think it should stay as it is, or change? Tell us in the comments!

This activity and more can be found in Heifer International's flexible GET IT! curriculum for middle school. The program engages middle school students as investigative journalists to research, write about and act on issues surrounding consumer choices and international trade.





Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.