Support Efforts to Improve Working Conditions for Coffee Farmers in Chiapas, Mexico

coffee farmers in Chiapas

Target: Fair Trade USA & Progreso

Goal: Thank Fair Trade USA and Progreso for transforming the lives of coffee farmers living in Mexico’s impoverished state of Chiapas

Chiapas, one of the poorest of Mexico’s 31 states, lags behind the rest of the country in almost all socioeconomic factors, from staggering rates of illiteracy to dismal access to healthcare.  Families living in Chiapas face a level of poverty that can stagnate economic growth and crush all hope of future progress.  Despite these distressing facts, it is encouraging to know that the coffee farmers of the Chiapas area have not been forgotten:  Fair Trade USA and Progreso, two organizations dedicated to improving the conditions of farmers around the world through equitable and sustainable trade, have committed to helping local coffee cooperatives address key challenges.

Coffee production is essential to the economic success of Chiapas, serving as an important cash crop.  Yet because of the impoverished living conditions found within Chiapas, farmers of the state face an uphill battle when it comes to participation in the international market.  After meeting with a group of local farmers to hear their ideas and concerns, Fair Trade USA and Progreso have established a plan that will allow coffee growers to achieve greater success in their trade.  A greater access to world markets will be facilitated through direct contact between the coffee producers and potential international buyers.  Training will be provided to better equip coffee cooperatives with financial and administrative tools and tactics, including short and long term financing.  In addition, an improved level of quality and productivity will be sought for all participating farmers.

The proposed program will directly affect nine coffee cooperatives in the region and will help at least five more cooperatives begin the process to achieving Fair Trade certification.  Compliancy with Fair Trade certification ensures fair prices and wages, safe working conditions, and environmentally sound policies.  Furthermore, Fair Trade certification allows participating cooperatives to earn community development funds which are used to improve local conditions and empower grassroots actors.

Such admirable work on behalf of the poorest of the world deserves to be recognized.  Commend Fair Trade USA and Progreso on their continued efforts to build a more inclusive and equitable global community.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Fair Trade USA & Progreso,

I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the coffee farmers of Chiapas, Mexico.  Too often in our fast-paced, globalizing world, poor regions like Chiapas are forgotten and ignored, leaving hard-working families to the whims of the free market.  Your efforts to ensure access to international markets for the coffee farmers of Chiapas as well as fair prices and safe working conditions are admirable and serve as an example to the global community.

I support and encourage continued projects of this nature in the hope that one day the policies of fair trade will reach every corner of the globe.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Google Images

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