Tell Them to Remember Me
Micaela is a producer from San Juan La Laguna in Guatemala.
Origin Blog Series: Part One - Tell Them to Remember Me
“Tell them to remember me,” said Santos.
“Share my story when you go back,” said Juan.
“Don’t forget about me when you go back to the United States,” said Micaela.
On our most recent trip to Honduras and Guatemala - not one, not two, but three coffee farmers in one day told us to remember them when we go back to the United States, to tell people about them and share their story. This was not prompted, not was this a soundbite convenient for 3-19 Coffee to write a blog post about. These are small coffee farmers that are fighting for the survival of their crop and their livelihood. There is desperation, a familiar state of affairs for small coffee farmers all over Central America.
To provide a bit of context, 3-19 Coffee started buying coffee two years ago from small farmers with the goal of ensuring they are getting paid a fair wage for their coffee. As a company and a small team, we have grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the way that we understand coffee cultivation, harvesting, processing, and the many challenges small farmers face to make a fair, consistent and sustainable wage.
3-19 believes that relationships are the entire foundation to our business. The foundation of relationships enables what can happen next. Committing time and talking directly to farmers is the only way we feel comfortable sourcing coffee. Technology certainly has its advantages and is critical to the supply chain and the sharing of information along the way. Technology does help communicate what is happening in countries where coffee comes from. However, like in many interactions in life, you simply cannot replace or substitute a face to face, eye to eye, voice to voice, heart to heart exchange of ideas and ideals, and we feel it’s no different on the coffee farm.
Hearing this same mantra from three farmers struck a chord with us. It was something we weren’t expecting, couldn’t forget, and certainly made us determined to follow through with the farmers’ request to not forget about them, to share their story.
Buying coffee is a decision you have the power to make that matters, that makes a difference. Just as we will not forget about each farmer's request. Your part is taking a chance on supporting our mission and drinking excellent, quality specialty coffee from 3-19 Coffee.