UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge
New York, NY, April 21, 2008—UMCOR is challenging United Methodists to help farmers earn fair prices for their crops by participating in UMCOR's 100-Ton Challenge. The 12-month campaign encourages United Methodists to help increase the amount of fairly-traded coffee, tea, chocolate and snacks purchased through The UMCOR Coffee Project and its partner Equal Exchange, a 100 percent fair trade, worker-owned co-operative. Purchasing fairly-traded goods allows small-scale farmers to earn fair prices, invest in farm improvements, reduce debt, and improve their communities while providing a better life for themselves and their families.
UMCOR's 100-Ton Challenge will begin on Saturday, May 10 in observance of World Fair Trade Day and will end May 9, 2009. The goal is to increase awareness about fair trade in United Methodist churches everywhere and leverage fairly-traded products to help promote better lives for farmers in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States. As you enjoy fairly-traded coffee, tea or chocolate, you are part of a partnership that helps farmers stay on their land, care for the environment, support their families and plan for the future.
Every Pound Counts
In 2007, United Methodists bought 68 tons (136,000 pounds) of fairly-traded products through the UMCOR Coffee Project—100 tons would be a new record. With every pound of product sold through the UMCOR Coffee Project, 15 cents goes to support farmers through UMCOR's Sustainable Agricultural and Development Program. Through this program, farmers learn new methods of cultivating their crops that produce good yields and nutritious food. Farmers who depend on fair trade for a living, are better able to support their families, live healthier lives, and send their children to school. Join the 100-Ton Challenge and commit to doing more to support fair trade practices.
Fair Trade. Better Income.
The conventional coffee trade involves a long chain of buyers, processors, exporters, brokers and distributors between the farmer and the consumer—each taking their share of the price. Coffee farmers are left with little and often cannot cover ongoing production costs or living expenses. Fair trade eliminates the middlemen and farmers receive a larger proportion of the prices. This fair trade system allows farmers to earn a stable and fair price for their crops and delivers a fair price to consumers.
Under the principles of fair trade, importers also commit to buy only from small farmer co-operatives, and to establishing direct, long-term purchasing relationships with the co-ops, including support for sustainable agriculture and the offer of low-cost pre-harvest credit.
How You Can Help
- Observe World Fair Trade Day on May 10 by participating in UMCOR's 100-Ton Challenge and by placing your order directly through Equal Exchange. You can download UMCOR's Coffee Project Order Form to make your selections or order via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Download our 100-Ton Challenge bulletin insert and help increase awareness about fair trade within your local community or congregation. This bulletin offers information about fair trade practices and how consumers benefit.
- Decorate a bulletin board with UMCOR's 100-Ton Challenge poster and encourage your church or community to participate in this year-long challenge.
- Another way to support small-scale farmers and help them improve their health, crops, and livelihoods is though your gifts to Sustainable Agriculture and Development, UMCOR Advance #982188.
UMCOR Coffee Project
The UMCOR Coffee Project links congregations with small farmers and their families through fair trade. While you enjoy fellowship and an excellent cup of fair trade coffee purchased through UMCOR's partner Equal Exchange, you are helping small-scale farmers and their families live a better life that will impact their future. As Christians we can address a consumer dilemma by buying goods that are fairly traded. United Methodist congregations that participate in the UMCOR Coffee Project are supporting practices which help farmers in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States earn a fairer share of income, obtain access to credit and technical support, as well as gain a trading partner they can trust. To order your fairly-traded products, call Equal Exchange at 774-776-7400 or go online to order fairly-traded coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cocoa or other items today. www.equalexchange.com/umcor