One of the trends coffee companies are following these days is wanting to support the producers they are already buying from. œThere’s absolutely no problem with that, says The Chain Collaborative director Nora Burkey. œIn fact, it’s great. The challenge is that there are countless obstacles to confront before launching what would seem like a somewhat simple project ”building a school in a community you’re buying from, for example. Whose land will the school be built on? Is it donated or do you have to buy it? Are there other schools within a certain mile radius such that foundations will tell you they won’t build it due to a lack of need, or such that governments will tell you they won’t staff it with teachers? Will there be a kitchen, and who will cook?” On and on and on.
There are so many things to take into account, aspects of a project that most companies don’t have the resources to manage. That’s why The Chain Collaborative says they team up with partners who have the ability to respond to these questions and more. They’re happy to partner for new projects in new areas, with growers that a company might already have a buying relationship with. But The Chain Collaborative also wants to stand in solidarity with existing projects, even if those projects benefit a set of coffee farmers unconnected to any company at all. œWhy? says Nora. œBecause a little bit goes a long way.