There's a New Thriving Coffee in Town


Does it matter from whom Faith Driven Consumers buy their coffee?

Want to make a positive impact and help others out of poverty – all while doing something you probably do every day?

Let’s face it:  Americans love their coffee.  More than 100 million of us drink it daily – 54% of the population over the age of 18. And some polls show that 63% of Americans drink coffee every day.

Here, Faith Driven Consumers are no different.  Our churches serve up coffee every week before and after worship services and some large mega-churches have annual coffee budgets in excess of $30,000.

In fact, after oil, coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world.

Given the economic impact of coffee, this recent piece from the New York Times caught our attention. “Coffee’s Economics, Rewritten by Farmers,” highlights a new business model for coffee production launched by Christian entrepreneurial farmer, Kenneth Lander.

As a Faith Driven Consumer and Christian businessman, Lander seeks to glorify God by improving on the idea of “fair trade” for products and commodities produced in poorer areas of the world and empower farmers to “participate in the added value as coffee moves downstream to the consumer.”

To this end, he has established Thrive Farmers Coffee to go beyond the “fair trade” model and teach impoverished Central American farmers that they don’t have to give up control of their coffee and “can see it all the way through the value chain.”

Bottom line:  Lander’s Thrive Farmers Coffee is among a growing number of innovative business models in the coffee industry that allow farmers to increase their ownership and profit margins by selling directly to the consumer rather than to middlemen who process and roast the coffee beans – and in the current system keep the majority of the profits.   

From its humble beginnings in 2011, Thrive sold 328,000 pounds of coffee in 2012 over the Internet, to churches and through specialty stores – at prices that eventually return three to four times what the farmers would have received had they sold their beans through “fair trade” arrangements.  Through this model, the farmers move out of a cycle of impoverishment toward economic thriving for their families, communities and nations.

Scripture teaches us that we as followers of Christ are called to be a blessing to the communities in which God has planted us.  As Faith Driven Consumers, we also know that every choice matters – even from whom we buy our daily cuppa Joe.

Check out Thrive Farmers Coffee and compare how your current coffee is sourced.  Then consider which one allows you and your church to make the greatest difference in the lives of Central American coffee farmers and their communities.

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