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Forgive us as we forgo some of our usual newsletter features this month to focus entirely on our friends in Sumatra, devastated by December's earthquakes and tsunami. As a fundraising vehicle for the continuing relief efforts in our Sumatran coffee producer’s region of Aceh, Café Campesino has established the Aceh Relief Blend, a Full City Roast. All of the profits from the sale of the Aceh Relief Blend will be donated to the Coffee Kids Sumatra Relief Project, which directly benefits our producer partners at the PPKGO cooperative in Aceh. Learn more about the Coffee Kids Sumatra Relief Project in this edition of Fair Grounds. Café Campesino has also set up an online donation option for those who wish to donate to the relief fund with their credit card via Café Campesino. Call us or visit our website at www.cafecampesino.com to make your donation...the Aceh Relief Fund donation option is listed in our single origin coffees section. We will mail you a receipt of your donation though please note that if made through Café Campesino, your charitable contribution will not be tax deductible. Thank you for joining us in doing our part to hasten relief to those in the greatest need.

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Café Campesino, through its membership in Cooperative Coffees, imports our fine fair trade, organic, shade grown Sumatra coffee from the PPKGO farmer’s cooperative located in the Aceh region of Sumatra. Sadly, the recent tsunami and earthquakes have taken the lives of at least two of the producers from the PPKGO cooperative and damaged the cooperative’s processing facility and the roads to the port. Numerous producer farmers’ homes have been destroyed and many of the producers have lost family members and friends. Café Campesino asks you to join us in helping with the current relief efforts so that this coffee project, which has grown to become the largest "single origin" Fair Trade project in the world with membership currently numbering 1,832 small-scale farmers among 24 communities, can get back on its feet. Thank you.

The following are updates that we have received about the situation in Sumatra:

December 30, 2004 — from PPKGO & ForesTrade: This just came in from Aceh. Unfortunately it looks as though farmers from PPKGO are among the casualties of the quake. (The following is an excerpt from a letter from ForesTrade): We continue to receive reports about the extent of the damage to lives and infrastructure suffered by our partners and their families and communities in the Central Aceh coffee-growing region in northern Sumatra. As previously mentioned, the latest message this morning is that two of our producers died in the collapse of their homes in one of the 32 communities participating in the project. This community is in one of the most accessible areas, and we are greatly concerned that further reports from other communities will add to the toll.

Additionally, we know that many of the farmers send their children to secondary schools and colleges in the lowland areas, primarily the provincial capital of Banda Aceh, one of the areas of highest concentration of casualties. Our local director, Mr. Muhammad Salim, whom many of you have met during his visit to the U.S. in 2003, has three daughters in college in Banda Aceh. He and several of his PPKGO neighbors left with a convoy of vehicles from Takengon to Banda Aceh yesterday, and we haven't heard from them yet.

January 3, 2005 - From the staff at the PPKGO cooperative: The latest information coming out of Sumatra indicates that there had actually been three earthquakes in Aceh. The first one was on the 26th followed by two more on the 29th, 5 minutes apart. They were significant seismographic events. Buildings have been damaged around Takengon (location of the coffee processing facilities) and people are focusing now on helping others in need rather than on the repair of buildings. The PPKGO members are dressing in their uniforms and are traveling to Banda Aceh for three days to help with the relief. However, coffee is still being harvested. Sadly though, bodies are still being found constantly though survivors are not able to keep up with the burials around the coast. Many of the soldiers and rebels that were in hiding have perished. One of the coop’s inspectors has lost his mother and youngest child. There are many babies now without parents and many people in local churches have begun adoption efforts. In Padang the people are very traumatized as they are encountering many family members or friends who have been affected. There was a warning for another tsunami on the 30th and everyone fled to the hills. During the evacuation thieves came and robbed homes. The mayor finally went on the radio to let people know it was a false alarm and that they could return to their homes.

January 5, 2005 — From the staff at Forestrade USA - …feeling a little cheerier this morning despite the continuing bad news. I received an email from Lucia saying that many volunteers from the PPKGO formed an envoy of 8 trucks filled with vegetables and rice and headed to Banda Aceh yesterday. They'll stay for 3 days and then return. Then there's other volunteers from the PPKGO who will go next week for 3 days.

January 12, 2005 — From ForesTrade co-founders Thomas and Sylvia Fricke: It's great to hear that Coffee Kids will send their $30,000 donation today. We hope to have another $17,000 in place tomorrow so that we can send two full shipments of supplies out to Banda Aceh this Saturday. We plan to get special "blue books" or official permits for entering Aceh upon entry to Indonesia on Friday morning. Sylvia and I plan to accompany two of the coffee trucks returning from Medan this Saturday to meet with several of our colleagues in Bireun about halfway to Banda Aceh. Unfortunately we are also bringing several thousand meters of Muslim burial shrouds in addition to food and medicinal supplies for the survivors. We have also been invited by the U.S. Consul's office in Medan on Friday and Saturday to attend the international relief coordination group daily meetings at one of the main hotels there. We expect to dispatch a lot of information from the group and directly through discussion with our colleagues over the weekend.

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PPKGO, Indonesia
Date Established: 1997
Number of Members: 1,900
Annual Production: 91 containers (100% organic)
Varieties of Arabica: Typica, Catimor, Caturra,
Bergendal, Sidikalang

About Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association
Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association (or PPKGO) is an organic, Fair Trade cooperative located in the Gayo highlands of the Aceh province of Sumatra, Indonesia—an area largely committed to coffee production. The cooperative was founded in 1997, and became Fair Trade certified in March of 2000.


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This has been a very busy past few weeks…and the next few months promise even more activity on the outreach front for Café Campesino!

During the weekend of January 8-9, Tripp and Lee visited our friends at Phoenix Market in Athens, Georgia and Sevananda Natural Foods Market in Atlanta to sample our coffee and talk about Fair Trade with the markets’ customers. While they were in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a fabulous article about Café Campesino and our Fair Trade company…follow this link to read the article.

On January 22nd, Tripp and Lee will be traveling to Manna Grocery & Deli in Tuscaloosa to sample our coffee and talk about fair trade with Manna’s customers.

On January 30th, Bill leaves for two months in Guatemala! He will be working hard and playing hard during this extended stay. Mornings will be filled with Spanish lessons and in the afternoon he will occupy a desk in the offices of Manos Campesinas (well, not every afternoon…) Between visits with the cooperatives and Spanish school; a few volcano hikes are planned, a side trip to Chiapas is in the works, and his parents are headed down in March! Stay in touch with Bill via bh(at)gofairtrade.net .

On February 3rd, Tripp will travel to The Sentient Bean to participate in a Sumatra Relief fundraising event at the coffee house’s Savannah locale. The following week, Tripp will be journeying with his six year old son Hugh to visit Bill and our producer partners in Guatemala.

Finally, on February 12-13, while Bill and Tripp are playing in Guatemala, Lee will be representing Café Campesino at the Georgia Organic's annual meeting on the campus of West Georgia Technical College in Waco, GA. He will be passing out samples of coffee, selling 1 lb. bags and sampling as many of the organic goodies available that time will allow. 

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Coffee Kids is an international non-profit organization established to improve the quality of life for children and families who live in coffee-growing communities around the world.

Coffee Kids has helped thousands of children, women, and men in coffee-producing regions in Mexico and Central America to improve the quality of their lives and build more sustainable communities. Their staff works with local non-governmental community organizations in Latin America to create education, health-care, training, and microenterprise programs for coffee farmers and their families. Their projects respect the cultural integrity of local partners, foster independence, and promote long-term self-sufficiency.

Coffee Kids has established the Sumatra Relief Fund to benefit coffee-farming families in Sumatra affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in the area of Aceh. Coffee Kids will not take any administration fee. 100% of your contribution will be sent to the PPKGO cooperative. You can make a donation online at http://www.coffeekids.org/donate/

To learn more about Coffee Kids, visit their website at www.coffeekids.org, call them toll-free at 1-800-334-9099 or email them at info@coffeekids.org. You can also write to Coffee Kids at at 1305 Luisa St., Suite C, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

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"Life's most urgent question is, what are you doing for others?"

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • December 2004 Mexico: Notes From the Field, Customer Spotlight: Ten Thousand Villages, Fair Trade Partner: Cloudforest Initiatives
  • November 2004 Conscious Consumption: A Personal Perspective, Customer Spotlight: Oyamel - Cocina Mexicana, Fair Trade Partner: Three Frontiers Trading Co.
  • October 2004 A Mission...Not a Market: The 2004 Vote: Making it Work
  • September 2004 Producer News: CECOCAFEN in the Off Season, Customer Spotlight: The Healthy Gourmet
  • August 2004 Producer Profile: Cooperativa Café Timor, Fair Trade Friends: Marketplace of India
  • July 2004 A Fair Trade Reality Check, Fair Trade Friends: Tribal Fiber, Coffee Lab International
  • June 2004 The Promise of Fair Trade, Fair Trade Friend: Global Crafts
  • May 2004 Fair Trade at the Carter Center, SCAA meeting.
  • April 2004 Coffee and Community in Nicaragua, Fair Trade in Americus Makes the News!
  • March 2004 Fair Trade chocolate, Rosetta's Kitchen
  • February 2004 Bill's Return to Guatemala, Guayakí Rainforest
  • January 2004 Espresso - What's the Buzz?
  • December 2003 Fair Trade: Global Exchange's Fair Trade Challenge; Fellow Fair Traders: SERRV International
  • November 2003 Fair Trade: More Than Just a Fair Price; Fellow Fair Traders: Lucuma Designs
  • October 2003 Exploring the Coffee Regions
  • September 2003 Cooperative Coffees Annual Meeting
  • August 2003 Fair Trade Friends: Oxfam America; The Art (and Science) of Roasting Coffee
  • July 2003 Exploring Our Origins: Sumatra
  • June 2003 Exploring Our Origins: Guatemala; Gayo Mountain Adventure; Dr. Coffee - Cupping
  • May 2003 Fair Trade Friends: United Students for Fair Trade; World Fair Trade Day
  • April 2003 Exploring Our Origins: Ethiopia; Celebrating Earth Day with Fair Trade
  • March 2003 Bill's Central American Adventures, Part 2; SWP Decaffeination
  • February 2002 Bill's Central American Adventures, Part 1
  • January 2003 My Life as a Bean
  • December 2002 Exploring Our Origins: East Timor; Sustainable Development
  • November 2002 New Website; Gift Baskets
  • October 2002 Interview with roaster Lee Harris
  • September 2002 ForesTrade Wins UN Sustainability Award; Exploring Our Origins: Sumatra's Gayo Cooperative
  • August 2002 Producer News: Shade Grown; Fair Trade Friends: Atlanta Audubon
  • July 2002 Exploring Our Origins: Colombia
  • June 2002 Back Roads Journal: Cooperative Coffees and Café Campesino; Exploring Our Origins: Peru; Fair Trade Friends: Music of the Andes
  • May 2002 Staff Notes: Cinco de Mayo; Producer News: Visit to Mut Viz; Back Roads Journal: SCAA Meeting
  • April 2002 Back Roads Journal: Travels in Fair Trade; Customer Composting Tip

Fair Grounds is produced by:

Café Campesino
725 Spring Street
Americus, GA 31709

Contact Information:

Orders and General Information
Phone - 888.532.4728, 229.924.2468 
Fax - 229.924.6250

Lee Harris
Tripp Pomeroy
Bill Harris
Kayci LeRoy

Fair Grounds is designed and delivered by:

Starstruck Design
335 West Gill Road
Gill, MA 01354

Contact Information:
Don Kruger 
Lynn Nichols
Phone - 413.863.7752
Fax - 413.863.7752

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