From Thu Dec 13 08:00:22 2001
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 10:41:54 -0600 (CST)
From: NicaNet <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 131992
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Fair Trade Coffee Day, Coffee Crisis

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 10 December 2001

As Nicaragua continued to face a humanitarian crisis due to the lowest coffee prices on the global market ever, activists in the United States did something about it. On Saturday, December 8, grassroots organizers in over 50 cities set up tables in front of local coffee shops and grocery stores to educate consumers about the economic causes of the coffee crisis and the importance of fair trade consumerism. Many have attributed the crisis in the coffee market to abysmal economic planning by Washington's men in black suits who convinced more than a dozen countries to make coffee their cash crop completely ignorant of the oversupply this would cause. Though not a panacea for the problem, a broader fair trade coffee market would provide some farmers with the economic stability of having a fixed price paid for their product. Since it takes the market pressure off farmers and accommodates small-scale agriculture, fair trade helps farmers grow their coffee organically and through the ecologically sustainable shade-grown technique.

The Nicaragua Network continues to raise humanitarian aid for the starving coffee farmers. We have raised about $11,000 so far! Thank you so much to those who have donated. We give the money to the Ernesto Gonzalez Foundation, which buys food from local Nicaraguan farmers to feed those who cannot afford it. We send reports with pictures to everyone who donates. Check out our website at for more information. We have a detailed report coming out in our Monitor newsletter.