nurturing coffee growing communities to prosperity

 
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About Us
 

Our vision is a world where coffee growing communities are prosperous

We work with coffee producers and their families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. Our comprehensive, integrated approach to development helps them as they empower themselves to choose their own future based on their priorities, values, and culture. Our trainers are farmers from within the community who teach their peers what's worked for them. The people have built a sustainable micro-credit program with 1,600 women, nearly doubled coffee production after losing 75% of their crop to the roya fungus, and grown over 100 gardens to feed their families.

We need your support to achieve our vision. Become a member today and join a community committed to making a sustainable difference in the world. We're shifting the conversation about coffee. We talk about where our coffee comes from to connect with the hands behind every cup. We listen and share stories from coffee fields to espresso bars, because everyone has a story about coffee. We trust in the people of coffee, from farmer, to barista, to you. Join The Coffee Trust in helping coffee farmers and their families overcome poverty at origin.
 

 

The Ixil Region


The Ixil region of northern Guatemala is a coffee-growing community rebuilding after Guatemala's civil war. The war so devastated the region that over half the population of San Gaspar Chajul was decimated. Formerly made up of subsistence farmers, the allure of cash for coffee drove farmers away from the ancient agricultural practices that made their lands plentiful. Now over 90% of the people live in poverty.

 

Our Methodology: Farmer-to-Farmer Development
 

Francisco Matom Marcos, Roya Recovery Project Promoter, with Bill Fishbein, Founder and Executive Director of The Coffee Trust

Francisco Matom Marcos, Roya Recovery Project Promoter, with Bill Fishbein, Founder and Executive Director of The Coffee Trust

"Our community has the solution."

-Francisco Matom Marcos, Roya Recovery Project Promoter

Farmer-to-Farmer development relies on farmers to share agricultural practices and experiences with each other. Farmers learn effective practices from other farmers and create new methods through their own ingenuity. The experience of learning from equals is empowering, promoting an "if she can do it, so can I" perspective. With the Farmer-to-Farmer approach, the impact expands well beyond the project area as farmers keep sharing information without boundaries. 

 

Our Projects
 

La Roya Recovery: Coffee farmers in Ixil lost up to 75% of their crop due to a fungus called la roya (coffee rust). We support a comprehensive program to combat la roya and replenish nutrients in the soil using sustainable, organic agricultural strategies and Effective Microorganisms. Learn more.

Education: In Ixil, only 11% of children complete primary school, 5% complete high school, and less than 1% earn a college degree. Our program increases access to education by providing scholarships and helping create a better learning environment within the community.

Food Sovereignty and Health: These programs empower families to take ownership over their own food production and health. Participants learn to grow gardens, raise hens, produce compost, prepare nutritious meals, use medicinal plants, build efficient stoves, and reproduce Effective Microorganisms to improve soil and crop health.

Economic Diversification: The Women's Savings and Microcredit, Weaving, and Honey Production programs assist communities in becoming economically independent from coffee. Participants start their own small businesses and work to stabilize their incomes regardless of the volatile coffee market.

 

Membership
 

Being a member of The Coffee Trust is:

  • A commitment to making a sustainable difference in the world
  • Being a part of a community of people committed to shifting the conversations about origin
  • Being a part of something larger than ourselves

Become a Coffee Trust member today and be a part of A Conversation About Coffee.
We're coffee drinkers, roasters, baristas, and more. We talk about where our coffee comes from to connect with the human element of this diverse trade. We're advocates for coffee growing communities. Join The Coffee Trust in helping coffee farmers and their families overcome poverty at origin. We trust in the people of coffee, from farmer to barista to you.
 

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Our Team

 

Bill Fishbein Executive Director

Bill Fishbein
Executive Director

Paula Rodriguez International Program Director

Paula Rodriguez
International Program Director

Mark Griffith Project Manager

Mark Griffith
Project Manager

Jake Fishbein Regional Coordinator

Jake Fishbein
Regional Coordinator

Pepe Rodriguez Director of La Roya Recovery Project

Pepe Rodriguez
Director of La Roya Recovery Project

Marina Oriel Community Engagement Coordinator

Marina Oriel
Community
Engagement Coordinator

Eli Hunter IT Consulatant

Eli Hunter
IT Consulatant

 
 


Our Board
 

Bill Fishbein President of the Board Executive Director of The Coffee Trust

Bill Fishbein
President of the Board
Executive Director of The Coffee Trust

Julie O'Brien Vice President of the Board

Julie O'Brien
Vice President of the Board

Rick Peyser Senior Relationship Manager, Coffee and Cocoa for Lutheran World Relief

Rick Peyser
Senior Relationship Manager, Coffee and Cocoa for Lutheran World Relief

Carlos Murillo CEO, Expocert Cafe

Carlos Murillo
CEO, Expocert Cafe

Mary Ellen Collins Treasurer of the Board

Mary Ellen Collins
Treasurer of the Board

Paula Rodriguez International Program Director, The Coffee Trust

Paula Rodriguez
International Program Director, The Coffee Trust

Jonathan Rosenthal Founder, Just Works Consulting

Jonathan Rosenthal
Founder, Just Works Consulting

Mark Griffith Secretary of the Board

Mark Griffith
Secretary of the Board

 

We are grateful to all of our members for their support of our work
and our community partners for helping us spread awareness of our projects. 

Plus the generous support of many individuals around the world.