STL relief group creates coffee brand to support farmers

Oh! Coffee sales go toward food and farming programs in East Africa

Megan Lynch
November 12, 2019 - 5:15 am

St. Louis, MO (KMOX) - A St. Louis group says your morning brew could do so much more than just wake you up -- it could sustain thousands of farmers living in severe poverty.

Pat Bradley runs coffee beans through a burr grinder.   The founder of Crisis Aid International says this blend represents an opportunity. 

(Megan Lynch/KMOX)

Crisis Aid created this brand -- "Oh! Coffee".  It's a way to provide income to coffee farmers in East Africa.  Plus, with all the profits going back into relief work, it will also be used to provide food and critical medical care as well as to develop a demonstration farm to teach thousands of farmers how to be self-sustaining.  "Their goal is just to survive right now and so we want to get them out of a survival mode to a thriving mode, to where they're really prospering and able to send their kids to school and get medical attention, things that all of us would want."

Bradley says many coffee farmers in East Africa live in extreme poverty -- their children on the verge of starvation even though they sell to well-known global coffee brands.  The roaster "Oh! Coffee" is working with has a different model, "they pay 50 to 70 percent over the market rate to the farmer, so they're helping him to be able to earn enough income to be able to take care of his family."

Bradley says he is concerned about hunger in the coming year -- coffee trees are not producing as many beans this season. 

(Megan Lynch/KMOX)

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