Saturday, July 19, 2008

Young Tree Community

One common debate in the Quality Coffee Industry is: should importers and roasters do development work? It is nearly impossible not to do some development work on some level when you see the state in which coffee farmers live. The best answer that I have found to the debate is that: non-government organizations (NGO) and non-profits should do development work and importers and roasters should do quality oriented coffee work. Each is a unique work with a different skill set and goal. Just because a roaster can source quality beans and roast them well doesn't mean they can build schools in increase the literacy rate at origin.

Now, I lived in Los Frios (the town where my farm is) for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I was a community development worker whom worked between NGO's and the community. Two of my projects are still up an running: family planning and eco-tourism mountain guides.

Therefore, I'm starting a NGO non-profit called Young Tree Community to continue my Peace Corps projects while adding more projects this harvest season. The newest project will be a sand bag construction housing project. And we will amplify the Education Fund, which I started last year. The young man to the right is Tony, Antonio's son, and one of the coolest 7 year-olds in town.

I feel qualified to do run both my for-profit and my non-profit, but I so firmly believe that they must be run independently I'm sharing ownership of the non-profit with some experienced people. More details to come later. . .

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