Coffee News: from Seed to Cup

Volcán De Fuego & How The Coffee Community Can Support Guatemala

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75 Guatemalans have died. More are missing. And thousands have been displaced, forced to leave behind their homes and crops.

We know Guatemala for its delicious coffee, but this nation is far more than just its crops: it’s a country full of hard-working, warm-hearted people who need support in the wake of this national disaster.

And you can provide that support.

Help Guatemala to recover!  Donate here.

Aerial view of the damage.

Volcán de Fuego: The Impact

On the 3rd of June, Volcán de Fuego erupted in what became known, that very same day, as the deadliest eruption in Guatemala in over a century.

But since then, the official death toll has continued to rise. Currently, 75 people have been declared dead. Hopes are slim for those still missing. “The houses became ovens, and the village a crematorium. There are no survivors,” volunteer firefighter Francisco Flores told The Guardian.

Those who have survived face a challenging future. According to the BBC, thousands are in temporary shelters. Livelihoods have also been destroyed. Guatemala’s national coffee association, Anacafé, estimates that an area of 3,440 to 4,055 manzanas of coffee has been directly affected, with a loss of more than 38,400 quintals. This is the equivalent of 2,400–2,861 hectares and 1.8 million kilos.

The ash covers roads, vehicles, plants, and more.

How Can You Support Guatemala?

The Guatemalan Coffee Foundation for Rural Development, Funcafé, is calling for donations from the international coffee community. All money raised will be used to purchase “unprocessed foods, water, toilet paper, diapers, clothes and shoes, blankets, personal hygiene products, medicine, and more”.

These are all items that are urgently needed. You can donate here.

This campaign is also supported by Anacafé, Guatemalan Coffees, Behmor Inc., Perfect Daily Grind, Roast Magazine, and Give Joy 2 One. Give Joy 2 One will provide a 501c3 tax deduction receipt for all donations.

Joe Behm of Behmor says, “I love Guatemala, I love the people and their land, my heart aches for their suffering. Behmor will match dollar for dollar donations to total up to $2,000 and challenge others in the coffee community to do the same to meet our $2,000 challenge and match it, especially those who benefit so greatly, other equipment manufacturers.

“I’d like to believe together we can at the very least seek to aid and comfort those who’ve been displaced, injured and worse, while they seek to regain some semblance of normalcy in their lives. I realize it will be a long road but I vow to be there during these times, now and forever.”

With Behmor agreeing to match all donations up to US $2,000, your donations will have twice the impact – and they are desperately needed.

Henry Wilson, CEO of Perfect Daily Grind, which has donated US $500, says, “It’s crucial that we act as quickly as possible, and as generously as possible, to support Guatemala and its producers right now. Your donations will help save lives and feed families in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

Double your impact! Donate here.

Villages are covered in ash.

Additionally, if you live in Guatemala, Anacafé and Funcafé are accepting donations in all their offices. They welcome tinned or non-perishable food items, water, blankets, clothing in good condition, and medicines, especially gauze and creams for treating burns.

You can also support the relief efforts by purchasing coffee through Mojo Coffee Roasters. The Guatemalan-run company is donating 30% of their online sales.

Evelio Francisco Alvarado Romero, the General Manager of Anacafé, says, “Anacafé and Funcafé are grateful for the support given to those Guatemalans affected by the volcano.

“We are working to get concrete data about the damage that the catastrophe has done to our national coffee industry. Through our Foundation, we will be working with coffee-producing communities to carry out support projects, and the involvement of the international community will be much appreciated.

“There is no doubt that those communities that rely on the income they gain from coffee will need economic support to recuperate and recover.” (Translated from Spanish.)

The ash has coated and damaged trees and crops in the surrounding areas.

Anacafé’s Advice for Coffee Producers

Anacafé urges local coffee producers to follow the advice of the authorities. If you are in a high-risk area and are being asked to evacuate, please do so straight away. Human lives, Anacafé says, must be protected over any material items.

If you live in a low-risk area and do not need to evacuate, the association suggests removing the ash from your coffee plants by shaking the leaves and branches. Use water to flush it out of seedbeds and, to help the plants recover, amino acid sprays on the foliage.

Support Guatemala! Donate here.

Written by Tanya Newton.

Perfect Daily Grind

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