Our sister group got this email from Paul Rice, CEO and founder of Transfair USA yesterday.
Dear Friends and Companeros,
I just today became aware of the incredible progress you guys have made at UH to get Fair Trade coffee on campus. Congratulations!!! What a fantastic accomplishment! I’m really impressed – and proud – of the great work you’re doing there. It truly makes a difference for so many people.
I was in Rwanda and Tanzania this summer, visiting Fair Trade coffee communities and farmers. Everywhere I went, every family I visited, I heard the same story: Fair Trade has changed our lives; Fair Trade gives us hope. In Tanzania, I saw new processing facilities and cupping laboratories, built with FT premiums, which allow farmers to improve their coffee quality and fetch a higher price for their harvest. I visited farmers who were converting to organics, allowing them to produce more safely, sustainably and profitably. In Rwanda, I met young women who had finished high school and are now in technical college – what they called their “dream come true” – thanks to scholarship programs set up with FT premiums. I saw Hutus and Tutsis, working together in the same co-ops, building true reconciliation from the grassroots up. Needless to say, I came home deeply inspired.
Know this: our efforts are working! YOUR efforts are working. Together, we are building a global movement that brings hope, pride and dignity back to millions of hard-working farmers and their family members. Your struggle there at UH is vital to the movement, showing other campus organizers across the country that it CAN be done. So keep the faith. Set new FT goals and continue your fantastic journey. I am proud to stand beside you, fighting the Good Fight – and if there’s ever anything that my team or I can personally do to help, please let me know.
With solidarity and admiration,
Paul D. Rice
President & CEO
1500 Broadway, Suite 400
Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 510-663-5260 ext. 312