Oct 27, 2007
With the passing and approval of the North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA) during the early years of the Clinton administration by Canada, Mexico and the USA in the 990s, millions of small farmers in Mexico, small subsistence farmers, were forced off their land through economic necessity. They could no longer make a living on their small plots.
This fueled the massive illegal migration to the USA that started at that time, and continues to this day.
Nowhere was this more true than in the mountainous southern Mexican state of Chiapas, which borders on Guatemala.
The primary beneficiaries of NAFTA are large multi-national corporations.
NAFTA is the agreement that allowed Walmart to enter the Mexican market.
With financing secured and arranged by multi-national (primarily US) corporations, wealthy Mexicans and Mexican corporations took over a number of the small Mexican land holders and consolidated the lands. This added further fuel to the spreading fire of illegal immigration.
Chiapas is one of the major coffee growing regions in Mexico. With its high mountains, it is ideally suited for raising the very best of organic, shade tree, aromatic coffee.
The largest coffee consuming nation in the world is the USA, and most of the major coffee purchasers and roasters are US.
The US coffee purchasers are notorious for driving a hard bargain, and paying the absolute minimum for coffee. This does nothing for the peon who sweats out tending the coffee bushes, but it maximizes corporate profit.
With the growing social consciousness of the 90s and into the new century, corporations realized that they could use this “social consciousness” as a selling point.
Starbucks and other overpriced coffee roasters started purchasing a tiny fraction of the coffee they buy at “Fair Market Value.”
Fair Marker Value means that the producers of the coffee bean, the humble tenders and cultivators of the Earth, are paid enough so that they can live on their land and support their families without having to resort to illegal immigration. It doesn’t mean that they are getting wealthy, but they are receiving enough to maintain their humble lifestyles and even make slight advances.
This allows Starbucks and others to facetiously advertise that they pay Fair Market Value, a legal slight of hand.
There is one small non-profit coffee roaster that purchases all their coffee at Fair Market Value. The company is Just Coffee.
They purchase their coffee in Chiapas and roast it in the Sonoran border community of Agua Prieta, paying the people who do the roasting a livable wage.
Just Coffee is a small roasting operation, but that works out to the advantage of the people who purchase their coffee.
After coffee is roasted it needs to set for three days so it can “gas out.” This allows the unsavory and slightly toxic gases in all coffee beans to exit. Once the coffee is gassed out, it remains at an absolute prime state for approximately a week to ten days.
The “prime” over-priced coffee you purchase at Starbucks or your local (more than likely) chain grocery store normally hasn’t been allowed to properly gas out, and is almost always older than ten days, and well past its prime.
Just Coffee sells its coffee online from its offices in Douglas, Arizona, just across the border from Agua Prieta. It makes sure that all the coffee it ships is in a prime state. If this coffee in a prime state is kept frozen until use, the prime state is extended a considerable length of time.
Just Coffee offers whole beans and ground coffee in different roasts. It can be ordered online at http://www.justcoffee.org.
If you are a coffee drinker who likes truly good coffee, do yourself a favor and try some especially roasted coffee from Just Coffee. You will not only be doing yourself a favor, you will be doing something, in a small first step way, to stopped the tide of illegal immigration.