“Everybody wants a revolution … but no one wants to do the dishes.”
I believe in doing the dishes. We need lots of people who are willing to do the dishes.
Just Coffee does a great job providing individuals with the soap, the sink, and the water in order to carry out the responsibility of “doing the dishes.” Everything you need to become a part of the solution, Just Coffee provides. Just Coffee’s website is an excellent resource to begin with. Once on the JC website, one is able to learn about benefits as well as challenges that exist within the fair trade system, women’s empowerment, organic agriculture, food security, globalization, cultural diversity, politics, history, current events, environmental issues, social movements, and much more. You could spend hours getting lost in the wonderfully rich content on the site, or navigate quickly throughout the site to find exactly what you’re looking for. In addition to this wealth of useful information, Just Coffee goes beyond what may be called “passive learning” and engages with their audience through the use of emerging media, blogs, and delegations.
For those who are firm advocates of “learning through action”, it is imperative to learn more about all of the areas mentioned above through the lens of a traveler on a JC Delegation. As explained by JC, “A number of times each year Just Coffee offers customized fair trade travel Delegations to visit our coffee producers all over the world. Delegations are available to Just Coffee customers, friends, community members, avid coffee drinkers, and anyone with an interest in fair trade and cultural diversity. Delegations serve as a way for the company to stay in close contact with our coffee producing groups, a value that is integral to truly fair trade. Delegations are educational travel experiences that focus on the long production of coffee from the tree to your cup and the ideologies and realities of fair trade as it currently exists.” Individuals come away from these trips even bigger believers — in both free-trade coffee and the Just Coffee Cooperative. Having seen the production process first hand and shared smiles and meals with the producers themselves, one can not walk away from this experience feeling humbled. These delegations are ways for cooperatives to reinforce their missions — and, ideally, forge a stronger connection with current and potential customers who, if not already, will become more committed to the cause than ever. These delegations are paramount to the success of the fair trade movement and help to create passionate brand ambassador for various coffee cooperative and fair trade coffee and social justice in general. First hand experience does a job that no marketing campaign ever could. If more companies were to embrace this ethnographic style of business and research, we could potentially increase the rate at which we consumers consume more “consciously.”
To everyone involved in the movement at Just Coffee, your congeniality, your dedication, and your vision are an inspiration to us all. Gratefulness is a shallow word for what I feel. Love and admiration seem cliché. Perhaps only a simple thank you will do. To everyone considering a delegation, please do yourself a favor and try as hard as possible to make it on one of these enriching excursions. To those who were not considering a delegation, I hope after reading this, you may consider one in the near future.
To view photos of a recent delegation, please click here.