Your Next Coffee could Change the World

Who wants to change the world? I believe we can change the world. I believe that we can change the world through coffee.  I’m going to explain how we can do this together.

Coffee is gold, but..

Think back to the last time you had a nice cup. The aroma tingled your nose as it floated from your cup. And that first sip on a fresh palette… maybe chocolaty, flaky pastry crust and hints of nutmeg? Or was it a tomato-like acidity with a black-currant tartness? Or the current favourite, a fruity, densely sweet berry flavour like blueberry or strawberry? If you don’t have a cup in your hand right now you might be scrambling for one.

Before you go… I just have one thing to say. Coffee consumption is increasing significantly. In 2015 year the world produced 143 million 60 kg bags of coffee. Thanks to new markets in China and India demand is expected to increase as much as 25% over the next 5 years. Is your next cup of coffee helping positively change the world?  Or is it enslaving it. Did you know that most coffee regions suffer from extreme poverty and exploitation? We’re not really helping them, nor are the profits doing any good. So what if there was another way?

No benefit to the world. But currently coffee consumption does little or nothing to give back or change the word, other than some fair trade organizations that benefit farmers.

I believe we can change this.

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Let’s take a look closer at the need

The situation is not good. Cities and countries where much of the world’s coffee comes from experience open sewage and port sanitation that is rampant. I travelled to Uganda and Kenya in 2013. Like many before me, it changed my life and outlook on the world. Seeing the struggle and the pain that so many endured was baffling. How could this be so bad? Babies crying, abandoned on the streets. Feeble and half dead bodies left for dead. People scrambling to make a dollar a day selling fruit at the busy bus stop filled with desperate people, crooked police, open sewage and billows of dust. Mom’s left to care for their 3 month old baby on the filthy dirt streets of Kampala. No social assistance, no aid, no justice. What happened to her husband? Did she have a husband? Did she not have any family or friends to help her? No one was coming. Her baby would likely die first and she would most likely be further abused by someone els, but next time potentially left for dead. It broke my heart. I could and would not return like 95% of people that go on missions, return home to their normal lives, tap themselves on the shoulder and say, “job well done. You survived Africa.”

The cost. There are significant financial implications associated with the current situation. One that must be addressed first is poor sanitation. A recent study claimed that Uganda alone loses over US$177 million or 1.1% of it’s GDP per year. That’s a conservative estimate. People and their livelihoods have been hit the hardest though. Some of the notable consequences:

  • Contamination of drinking water. One of the most serious results of poor sanitation is contamination of the resource that we take so for granted in the West. Drinking water is in short supply.
  • Epidemics. Frequent epidemics and disease, like Ebola are common.
  • Stunted development. Cognitive development in most children around polluted areas is significantly stunted, affecting them throughout their adult lives.
  • Death. Poor sanitation is the cause many, many deaths. Most of which are children.

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Here’s a solution

Okay. Let’s do the math.

  • Cost. A take away cup of coffee costs as little as 75 cents.
  • Profit margin. On a $3-3.50 cup of coffee that’s nearly a 450-500% profit.
  • Just $1. I propose we take just $1 from each cup of coffee from local coffee shops for a temporary period, as an experiment. 

Purpose. The proceeds will go to funding sanitation systems (like toilets and soap) across villages in Africa and providing supplies for the refugee crisis in Jordan and Syria.

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Let’s do something together… now

Yes, we can. I believe coffee can change the world. The love of coffee isn’t going away – it’s on the rise. Let’s use coffee to benefit the world. The margin is there. And with so many in desperate need, we need to do something. We all need to act together. 

I propose… an initiative, a community project, a global project, amidst our busy schedules and lives to do something profound. All of us have the power in us and position living in developed countries to make a significant impact. With our access to resources we can change the world. So will you help me?

Let’s restore hope. To the most desperate parts of the world, where people deserve a better life – opportunities like you and I are privileged to have. Don’t let the thought of the impossible and resources overcome you. Most everything that you set you mind, with the right heart and people around you, can be made possible! The most great and world changing initiatives have begun from a small seed. They grow. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world. Let’s act today!

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” -Margaret Mead

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