Saturday, July 16, 2011

Café Citadelle: Fair Trade Coffee from Haiti

In a recent visit to Sen. Tom Udall's office in Albuquerque, we conveyed to the aide, field representative Bill Woldman, our request that the senator join in the effort to support programs that help the most vulnerable in our society.  The request was accompanied by a petition signed by dozens of New Mexicans. And of course, we already knew Sen. Udall was solidly in our camp.

The conversation then turned to fair trade, after Bread member Ellen Buelow mentioned how her social justice group at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church had set up a display at the Growers Market in Los Ranchos.

At that point, Mr. Woldman said he had something to show us and left the room.  He returned with a package of Café Citadelle coffee, a fair trade offering from Haiti.  A constituent who was very much a promoter of fair trade and econcomic development opportunities for Haiti had given the coffee to Sen. Udall's office.

This fair trade coffee is offered by Alltech, a company whose focus is promoting products that support animal health and human nutrition.  So how does a company like this become involved in fair-trade coffee? 
Finding a way to support existing Haitian enterprise was top of mind when we first visited the country. We believed that buying Haitian coffee was one of the best ways that we could have an immediate impact. We decided to launch our own brand of Haitian coffee and to incorporate this coffee into existing Alltech products.
After several trips to Haiti, we found the perfect partner: Cacgava is a 900 member coffee co-op located in Dondon, a small village in the mountains in northern Haiti. It is Haiti’s oldest coffee co-op and is fair-trade certified by FLO-CERT, an independent International Certification company.

The coffee’s name was derived from the Citadelle Laferrière, the largest fortress in the Americas, next to which Cacgava and its member farms are located. Alltech Café Citadelle is a high quality, mild, mountain-grown Arabica. It is naturally shade-grown and is fair-trade.
 Buy coffee online.

The effort to promote Café Citadelle is only a small part of the Haiti Project, sponsored by Alltech.
Sustainable economic growth is the only thing that will make a long term difference in Haiti. Alleviating poverty, changing agricultural and forestry practices, providing new energy sources; these are the things that must occur to make Haiti less vulnerable.
Check out this video about Café Citadelle.

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