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Jesus Vasquez Felipe, coffee farmer, Guaya'b Asociacion Civil
Jesus Vasquez Felipe, coffee farmer, Guaya'b Asociacion Civil

Trade Aid Blog - the Central America Diaries

5 Feb 2013
Food Buyer Justin Purser has recently returned from visiting remote coffee farms in Guatemala and Nicaragua.
You can read an excerpt below, and the full blog entries can be viewed by clicking the more information link - and please share your comments.

- Sitting back here in New Zealand writing this group letter, I have to admit that I’ve never returned from a work trip feeling so concerned about the future of some of the producers that we’re trying to support through our work at Trade Aid. Even though I’m proud to be associated with co-operatives in Guatemala and Nicaragua that are managing very effective development programs, the overwhelming spectre of a coffee plant disease that is spiralling out of control this year and which is threatening the livelihoods of any farmer who has it on their land has overshadowed everything else I’ve been covering with the groups. If I see it as my responsibility to ensure that we use trade to support improvements in the lives of the farmers we buy from, then I have to admit that a factor that seems to be beyond anyone’s ability to sort out right now is leaving me feeling very daunted indeed.

Fair trade is helping these farmers far more than the ‘free’ market, but even this extra support isn’t going to keep all the producers I met making a living wage on their farms if they are faced with problems that are bigger than all of us. The question I bring back with me has to be – what more can we do to help these farmers in their greatest hour of need? ....

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