What do your personal investments have to do with the fossil fuel industries driving climate change, and the national and international action needed to prevent the worst impacts? Find out, join the Divest Invest movement by taking the Individual Pledge, and begin planning to divest your holdings in the largest 200 fossil fuel companies within the next 5 years. The fossil fuel divestment movement continues to grow as individuals, institutions, and groups commit to divest and reinvest those funds in sustainable and equitable ways. If you are an individual investor asking "How do I invest better?", make this Earth Day count by pledging, learning how to start moving your money, and contributing to the goal of $150 billion in committed fossil free investments by COP 21 in Paris this December.
Nearly 75% percent of the world’s coffee is produced by small farmers in the developing world who cultivate the bean on less than 10 acres of farmland. Nearly 25 million coffee farmers live in highly vulnerable conditions, subsisting on an average of $4 US per day. Many require their children stay home from school to help tend the land or ration food between harvests in a phenomenon referred to in Central America as “los meses flacos,” or the thin months.
In the context of Nicaragua, climatic and socioeconomic factors coupled with rigorous standards set forth by alternative trade certifications have left coffee farmers destitute. FairTrade certifications and small farmer organizations (SFOs) have made good progress in improving access to markets, but require expensive investments to join, they may be poorly regulated, and they are difficult to access for many of the smallest farmers. In addition, these efforts generally stop short of providing the education and resources necessary to address the long-term challenges of farming families.
That’s where Alianza comes in. We aim to build a sustainable, community-based intervention to radically improve the quality of life of marginalized coffee farmers by providing field-based agricultural education and the necessary tools and resources to access lucrative markets.
-Kristin Van Busum