"One day I want to wake up to Newsweek citing Papua New Guinea with the fourth largest economy in the world, and know that A.J. had a hand in it. That's the power of global love. I cannot wait for that day."
Due to the coffee boom, A.J. Roasting is going to change the scope of coffee. Eleza's goal is to make the mystery of these beans known to the average and exceptional pallet. She wants to see these pearls reflect the exotic and rich flavor of all the regions of the world.
A.J. Roasting would like to educate the common consumer about what it means to be a responsible consumer. I often get the questions of organics and fair-trade. Be careful what you ask for; it could cause more damage than you can possibly comprehend.
There are huge corportations that have turned these terms into marketing slogans. They charge the farmer, importer, and roaster fees that offset the benefits to the foriegn economies they preceptatively protect. Let me tell you a story to get you to understand.
Philip owns his family farm in Papua New Guinea. He has watched his family work this farm since he could remember. His family has reinvested the profitablity of their farm in improving both the quality of product, and the quality of life for their village. Miles down the road a western mogal has purchase the neighbors family farm. Under the westernized attitude of manufacturing they convince the other area farmers that they can be rich if they change the way that they've done business for generations. Co-operative blends the rich and prideful crops of Philip's with the less admirable money hungry crops of foriegn capatilists. A great coffee, with history and heritage, is lost to a mix. Fair-trade cooperative certification is a fee based foreign organization that causes small farmers to pay to label their coffee. Driving up the cost to the farmer, and driving down the quality of coffee.
A.J. Java is against the modernatization of family farming, and hopes to grow fast enough to deal farm direct. A.J. Java is working on a co-operative buying group that allows the smaller roasters to buy farm direct. Putting the money in the hands of Philip is the ultimate fair trade. So when you reach for a coffee, and think the fair-trade logo is the best effort to be a resposible consumer, think again. It is a corporate machine that has pulled the burlap over the eyes of the well intentioned consumer, again.
Think, ask, know!