The Coffee Exchange - Roasting Coffee Daily

Sustainable Partners

THE COFFEE TRUST   coffee trust

Coffee Exchange co-owner Bill Fishbein, founder of The Coffee Trust (and Coffee Kids), has worked on sustainable development projects in Latin America for over 27 years.  Over the last several years The Coffee Trust has created a comprehensive  integrated  sustainable development program in the Ixil region of Guatemala, one of the poorest coffee-growing regions in the world.  The program combines support for education, health care, food security and economic development along with a strong capacity building component to promote sustainable development at origin.

La Roya Recovery Fund. When the La Roya fungus attacked Central American coffee in 2013, the people at The Coffee Trust adjusted their focus from general sustainability issues like health care, education and capacity building, ventilated efficient stoves and micro-credit programs for women, to life-and-death strategies to deal with the La Roya. Two main features, EMs (effective micro-organisms) which protect coffee plants from La Roya, and Food Sovereignty, where methodologies of planting and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables and chickens are handed down from farmer to farmer (compesino-a-compesino) by other farmers in the Mayan tradition.

Standard Coffee Trust sustainability programs are:  


  • scholarships (Primary/Secondary/ University)
  • training on gender equality and womens’ rights
  • classes:  computer and Spanish Language

Economic development

  • Women’s savings and micro-credit
  • Women’s weaving program
  • Added income through honey production
  • Women’s coffee roasting program


  • efficient ventilated indoor stoves and water filters
  • improved sanitation, healthy living habits

Food Security:

  • chicken raising /family/school gardens
  • School lunch Pilot

Capacity Building:

  • training local NGOs in organizational development
  • strategic planning
  • sustainable financing
  • democratic decision making

Earthquake Relief: Rebuilding in La Reforma, Guatemala



  COOPERATIVE COFFEES   cooperative coffees

95% of our green (unroasted) coffee comes from Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative, comprising 23 community-based coffee roasters (including Coffee Exchange) in the USA and Canada, who are committed to building and supporting fair and sustainable trade relationships for the benefit of farmers and their exporting cooperatives, families, and communities.

Cooperative Coffees strives to promote transparent Fair Trade and Organic sustainable development alternatives in both the North and the South, while continuing to supply its members with the highest quality coffee on the market. Coop Coffees is recognized as a valuable resource and a major player in matters of support for coffee farmers, environmental and economic developmental NGOs, as well as roasters in the North. Recently, Cooperative Coffees has played an important role in working with Root Capital, Sustainable Harvest and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in dealing with the La Roya disease affecting Central America and adjacent areas in Latin America.    


GROUNDS FOR HEALTH   Prtnr _groundforhealth

Grounds for Health’s mission is to create sustainable and effective cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs in coffee-growing communities, with the goal of decreasing the rate of cervical cancer.

 Grounds for Health Goals:

  • Reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in coffee-growing communities
  • Increase access to reproductive health services
  • Educate women about cervical cancer
  • Empower communities so they become active players in their own health and well-being
  • Strengthen local treatment capacity
  • Develop links between community leaders and health-care leaders


GROW AHEAD   Prtnr _growahead

 Where coffee drinkers (consumers) combine efforts with other coffee drinkers to provide coffee farmers no-interest no-risk loans, enabling the coffee farmer to bring his coffee to market without exorbitant  pre-financing expenses.

The majority of the world's coffee is grown by farmers tending tiny, remote plots of land, producing an average of 1,000-3,000 LBs a year of export grade green (unroasted) coffee.

  • Green coffee is traded globally in huge containers of hundreds of bags.
  • To process their crop and export it to markets around the world, farmers have founded fair trade cooperatives. However even established organizations struggle to access affordable credit and without cash, they can’t purchase their members' coffee.
  • When farmers are forced to sell their coffee to local middlemen, years of stewardship of organic and quality requirements are uncompensated as beans get shuffled into the commodity trade.
  • Expensive conventional loans can eliminate the small profits farmers make, forcing them to choose between feeding their families and investing in future improvements.

Through Grow Ahead, retail coffee customers (consumers) conspire with other customers from the same roaster, to pool resources in $25 to $100 amounts, to provide no interest – no risk loan to coffee farmers, so they can bring their coffee to market without exorbitant pre-financing fees.



The Coffee Exchange's Membership Drive

Please join The Coffee Trust’s Membership Program to help us make a sustainable difference for coffee-farming families. Thank you!

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