Liga Masiva is a new venture that seeks to interrupt the traditional way coffee gets to your cup – or even the Fair Trade route from grower to drinker. Today, the average coffee bean changes hands 13 times from plant to perking – and you can bet the people growing the beans are not getting the majority of the profit – in fact, it works out to about 7%, or 70 cents for the farmer on a $10 pound of premium java. We don’t see where our coffee is grown, under what conditions, or the families who do the work.
But Emily Kerr is out to change all that – with a Direct Trade model that connects organic farmers in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic directly with coffee drinkers. Using the ever-more compelling model of buying your food from farmers you know (a la a Farmer’s Market) Kerr is betting she can grow a business using retail outlets, online technology and smart marketing to grow a business that works better for everyone.
For the farmers, they earn more (about 3x more!) and learn more about what their customers want and need. Their commitment to organic farming is supported, and community projects can be tackled and completed. For consumers (particularly those in the Latino and Dominican communities) they are able to buy ethically-produced, organic goods of the highest quality, knowing they are supporting communities they care about.
“There’s a growing hunger to know where your money is going and to feel good about what you’re buying,” Kerr says. “With Liga Masiva, you get amazing products that are healthy for you, healthy for the farmer to produce, and healthy for the community. We offer a way to keep the connection with the farmer, even on products grown beyond our borders.”
Kerr is at the Unreasonable Institute (see post, 6/29) in Boulder right now, perfecting her business model so she can roll out into other markets, other products (like cocoa butter products, made from organic cocoa also produced in the Dominican Republic), and even other countries.
I’ve got a Masiva feeling it’s going to be a highly sustainable business. If my own coffee consumption/addiction is any indicator of customer loyalty, there’s a whole market waking up to a better way of buying. To join me in supporting this bold, flavorful new venture, join the Club and click here! (And if you sign up in the next week, and use coupon code GIVE365, you’ll get a 20% discount – bonus!)