Angel Website of the Month
Higher Grounds Trading Co.
Higher Grounds Trading Co. is a company fueled by its social mission and driven by a passion for sourcing the highest quality coffees from around the world.
Our mission is to provide you with premium, gourmet handcrafted coffees while supporting our coffee-producing partners who are leaders in sustainable development and environmental preservation.
Through this website, regular delegations to fair trade coffee growing communities, and the donation of our time, money, and coffee to grassroots initiatives in our communities, Higher Grounds aims to create connections between those of us who enjoy a daily dose of fair trade and organic coffee and the amazing people who harvest the green beans.
Through regular communication, yearly visits, and collaboration with human rights and development organizations, Higher Grounds is proud to offer our customers a first-rate coffee and the opportunity to create social change.
When you purchase Higher Grounds coffees you are:
Supporting A Fair Trade
Saving Biodiversity and Bird Habitats
Promoting Organic Agriculture
Supporting the Formation of Indigenous Rights and Dignity
Fostering Corporate Social Responsibility
Coffee first landed on the shores of Colombia in the late 17th century. Today the country produces 12% of all coffee grown in the world – second only to Brazil as the world’s top coffee producing country. In 1927, the country formed the Colombian Coffee Federation, forming an alliance among coffee growers to help commercialize their product. Today the Federation is over 500,000 growers strong and is charged with commercializing nearly all of the coffee grown in Colombia. While this has helped support the small-scale farmers that make up the vast majority of coffee growers in the country, it has led to mediocre, non-descript Colombian coffee flooding supermarket shelves throughout the United States.
Through the Federation, coffee from various growing groups is processed and blended together, largely eliminating the unique flavorful lots of coffee found when sourcing from one particular group. Colombian coffee is categorized by grade - Supremo, Extra, and Excelso – rather than origin and as a result much of the time it is difficult to determine where, how and in what climate the coffee was grown.
A Quality Cup
The struggle for indigenous rights and peace guide the farmers of Fondo Paez as they work to retain their ancestral farming practices with the help of Fundacion Colombia Nuestra. In addition to cultivating coffee the farmers are educating their community in seed collecting, native bean and corn cultivation and other methods of providing a healthy diet for their families.
The cradle of humanity and the birthplace of Arabica coffee, Ethiopia offers the coffee drinker a bouquet of quality organic coffees from the nation's diverse regions, soils, climates, and cultures.
A visit to the countryside of Ethiopia leaves one with little doubt about the importance of coffee income to family livelihoods and the Ethiopian government's GDP. Fifteen million households depend on coffee for income. There are more than 1.2 million coffee farmers in the country with 95% of the coffee produced by small-scale farmers.
Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU)
Amidst the struggle for indigenous rights and preservation of their diverse cultures in the Mayan Highlands of Chiapas, you will find the finest Mexican coffees.
Coffee first achieved prominence in the beginning of the 18th century when formal plantations were established in Chiapas to supply a modest internal market. By the middle of the 19th century, German and Italian farmers settled in Chiapas along the Pacific Coast plateau. Creating large plantations (“haciendas”) devoted to the production of coffee, they depended on the indentured servitude of the Mayan whose families had traditionally lived in the highlands. The Mayan people realized that coffee also grew well in their communities and left the oppressive plantations to form their own grower-owned and -operated cooperatives.
Today, coffee accounts for 2/3 of all organic acreage in Mexico. Fifty percent of all organic coffee in the country is produced by indigenous farming groups: Mixtec, Cuicatec, Chatin, Chinantec, Zapotec, Tlapanec, Tojolabal, Chontal, Totonac, Amusgo, Maya, Tepehua, Tzotzil, Nahua, Otomi, and Tzelta. Ninety percent of all coffee growers in Mexico are small-scale farmers with less than 12 acres of land.
A Quality Cup
Now, after years of selecting the best seeds and carefully cultivating the crop, coffee from the Mayan Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico are some of the fullest-flavored, smooth coffees the world has to offer. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and lush valleys, connected by long waterfalls, the coffee varieties of Caturra, Mundo Novo, and Typica flourish to produce a wonderful medium-bodied, bright coffee with slight nutty and chocolate notes. Higher Grounds Trading Co. is proud to be working with three amazing co-ops to bring the regions finest fair trade, organic and shade grown coffees direct to you.
For Information on Black Gold, a film about the Coffee Trade, please click below:
To purchase Higher Grounds Trading Co. coffee and to learn more about the farmers, please click here.
Past Angel Website of the Month
To view all past Angel Websites of the month, please click here.
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