This past weekend was the 10th Annual Let’s Talk Coffee, an annual event hosted by our friends at Sustainable Harvest (a coffee importer based in Portland, OR). Every year, Sustainable Harvest brings together its own farmers, exporters, roasters (like us!), banks, non-profits, and other interested people for four days of coffee talk — presentations, panels, round tables, business meetings, lots of coffee, and field trips to coffee farms. We were excited to finally meet some of the Arhuaco Indians from northern Colombia who are part of ASOANEI, one of our Fair Trade Organic suppliers.
Pictured are (me), Aurora Maria Izquierdo, her son Jorge, and Lindsey Bolger. They were as excited as we were that we were buying their coffee as they didn’t initially know who their buyer was. As a gift, Aurora gave Lindsey and me “assurance” bracelets – two small white cloth wrist bands with a little bead in each one (one white and one black). They were made in their community and blessed by their shaman (for lack of a better word) to make sure that we didn’t forget them nor stop buying coffee from them. Rest assured, I won’t forget: it was the highlight of my visit.