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Roger Perez Lopez waits for his coffee to dry at the CESMACH (Campesinos Ecologicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas) headquarters in Jaltenango, Mexico.

Today officially kicks off Fair Trade Month, which is designed to inform consumers of the effect they can have when they buy fair trade products. At Heifer, we value sustainability and community—two things heavily influenced by buying fair trade—and have long recognized the need for more people to support practices that benefit small scale farmers like those we work with around the world. All month long we'll highlight the people who benefit when you buy responsibly sourced products, the projects producing these sustainable items, and what we're learning from others to help our farmers participate in fair trade value chains and in developing local markets.

We'll give you information on our participation in the World Cocoa Foundation Partnership Meeting happening October 15 and 16. The World Cocoa Foundation "encourages responsible sustainable cocoa farming and raising farmers' incomes," and we have a vested interest in doing the same for our farmers in Bolivia, who grow and harvest cacao from the wild. We'll also preview an upcoming feature we'll have in World Ark magazine about the same Bolivian farmers and our efforts to help them find markets for their cacao products.

Toward the end of the month we'll take a look at our coffee projects. In Honduras the coffee rust crisis is affecting our farmers, and our projects in Mexico go to great lenghts to ensure our farmers receive fair prices for their product. Both of these will preview our participation in the "Let's Talk Coffee" conference hosted by Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers. So check back with us throughout the month to learn more about our efforts in fair trade.


Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.