Specialty Coffee Happens thanks to Indigenous Peoples

It’s fitting that “International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” (Aug. 9) falls squarely in the middle of “National Coffee Month” (August).

Nearly all our coffees come from indigenous communities around the world. The contributions of indigenous peoples to specialty coffee are exceptional, and we would have little to offer our customers without the hard work of people like the Ixil in the Guatemalan Highlands or the Gayo in the mountains of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia.

It seems that these people- who continue to work to protect their languages and cultures - are often forgotten by the rest of the world- their ancient histories lost in the modern melting pot of international business.

We encourage you to take today and every day to learn more about the rich and vibrant indigenous communities of the world. Many of these people spend their entire lives on the front lines of environmental stewardship and social justice- tending to organic plots of land or standing in solidarity with their marginalized friends, colleagues and neighbors.

We’d like to recognize the indigenous cooperative groups we work with year-in and year-out for their efforts to make the world a better place:

The Ixil farmers of Chajul, Quiche, Guatemala, who own ASOCIACION CHAJULENSE

The Maya-Mam farmers of San Marcos, Guatemala, who own APECAFORM

The Gayo farmers of Sumatra, Indonesia, who own PERMATA GAYO

The Nasa people of Cauca, Colombia, who own FONDO PAEZ

The Arhuaco farmers of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, who own ASOANEI

The Quechua and Aymara people of Bolivia who own AIPEP

The Mayans of Chiapas, Mexico, who own MAYA VINIC

The Sidama people of Ethiopia who own the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union

The Lenca people of Honduras who own COMSA

The Ashanika people of Peru who own the CAC PANGOA 

We have an enormous amount of gratitude and respect for these people who know and consistently remind us: "we're all in this together."