After Trade is not just about coffee. As we’ve emphasized countless times, it is foremost about people. For non-coffee drinkers, it may seem especially odd to invest in such a work as After Trade, whose concern is primarily for justice in the coffee industry. You may not care about coffee, which is understandable. But when such matters affect the lives and survival of millions of people, I think we can all agree: they are worth the fight for justice. 

And beyond people, we can’t personally concern ourselves with coffee and not also concern ourselves with the very real issue of the role of women in this industry, the lack of opportunities for the education of children in this industry, issues pertaining to water — because coffee is 98.5 to 99% water, how the climate change is effecting crops, the improper care of the land being harvested, and how shade grown coffee effects bird habitats and migrations. The list, of course, goes on… 

All to say, the work of After Trade as well as the implications of justice within this industry is perhaps far more vast than we could imagine. The reality is that people are barely surviving. Without being able to afford education for their children, generations of families have no choice but to remain in abject poverty. The land is being depleted. In Tanzania, and around the world, water is either unavailable, unsafe to drink, or being privatized. And many bird species are on the verge of extinction due to the large scale destruction of coffee forests. 

Indeed, this work is important. 

(Photo by our friend Dustin Harper)