Just Coffee Delegation: Nicaragua July 2010 - La FEM and CALA


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Just Coffee Delegation: Nicaragua July 2010 - La FEM and CALA

  1. 1. July 2010 Just Coffee Delegation
  2. 2. Thank You
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>About Just Coffee Delegations </li></ul><ul><li>Overview La FEM, CALA, Just Coffee </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Trade Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A with La FEM </li></ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Moving Forward </li></ul><ul><li>Thank You </li></ul>
  4. 4. About Just Coffee Delegations <ul><li>JC cooperative mission is based on direct relationships with the producers </li></ul><ul><li>Give folks a look into what goes on behind fair trade and the long process of coffee from the seedling to your cup. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants discuss topics related to the larger importance of participating in the fair trade system as well as challenges that still exist in finding a fair alternative to world trade through face-to-face conversations with the farmers themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>It also gives producers a chance to hear directly from consumers about the end results of the coffee they grow, bringing a human face to this whole system. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants will learn about benefits as well as challenges that still exist within the fair trade system, women’s empowerment, organic agriculture, food security, globalization, cultural diversity, politics, history, current events, environmental issues, social movements, and more. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the stay, we travel to coffee growing communities, share meals with and visit producers in their homes, visit local markets, eat typical food, and explore the surrounding area. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Overview La FEM <ul><li>A well organized all-women’s NGO in northern Nicaragua that promotes ideological, economic, and political empowerment of rural women through projects </li></ul><ul><li>Project Examples: formal and informal educational programs, reproductive rights, women’s health clinics, domestic violence support, access to land, gender workshops and product diversification through organic agriculture trainings. </li></ul><ul><li>All projects are carried out under a focus of sustainable economic development for the adults and youth that these programs reach. </li></ul><ul><li>Through such programs, women from the rural communities are able to participate and be real actors in transforming their own realities, making decisions in the development politics carried out by la FEM </li></ul>
  6. 6. Just Coffee & La FEM <ul><li>&quot;We want to make the link between producers and consumers. As we all know, coffee, and other products in the world, have been based on relations of inequality, based on the marginalization and we want to work against this system.“ - Julia Baumgartner </li></ul>
  7. 7. La FEM Facts <ul><li>Coffee is the second item of importance in the world after oil. But the history of its production has been marked with the mistreatment of slaves brought to Nicaragua and other Latin American product of colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>From a very young age, the girls of La FEM have had nearly the same fate. They worked as cutters, maids and cooks in the coffee plantations in Esteli, receiving for their efforts a starvation wage. That changed the day they finally decided to organize. </li></ul><ul><li>The agricultural work of these women in Esteli, organized into 5 cooperatives, the body is supported by Catholic Relief Services, which is the official agency of the Catholic community in the United States to international humanitarian aid, linked to the funding agency in that country (USAID). </li></ul>
  8. 8. La FEM: Building Self Esteem <ul><li>The contribution that the FEM gives these women, often forced to survive in difficult conditions, goes beyond financial aid, It is also grown including seeking to maintain their self-esteem, and protect their sexual and reproductive health. </li></ul><ul><li>Nicaragua has shown progress, but also setbacks in the protection of the rights of women. It passed the Equal Rights and Opportunities, an instrument that legally establishes the equality demanded by women in the economic, social, cultural and political. But not yet chosen the Equality Commission expressed in the law. </li></ul>
  9. 9. LA FEM: Abortions <ul><li>The criminalization of therapeutic abortion was a significant blow to the Nicaraguan women. </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately, the 2006 election campaign the political parties in one way or another made an alliance to repeal therapeutic abortion as a legal figure, made more than 100 years under the Penal Code and really this has been a violation the rights of women </li></ul>
  10. 10. La FEM: Ideological Empowerment <ul><li>Strengthen the feminist consciousness of rural women through the implementation and promotion of workshops, forums and campaigns. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote sexual and reproductive rights for both the internal organization and the communities. Using a mobile clinic visits and MUTUAL model, they have a health care system to women who work with high level of sustainability. </li></ul><ul><li>As part of our work in combating violence, we are strengthening and expanding the coverage of awareness and advocates for victims of violence </li></ul><ul><li>One of the components in which we continue to work is the adult education program and rural youth from the perspective of gender and generational. </li></ul><ul><li>Developing educational curricula and primer itself with a gender perspective and developing a training plan that includes these two approaches, Working with young rural women, is another element in the FEM are promoting, forming a network of youth. </li></ul>
  11. 11. La FEM: Economic Empowerment <ul><li>Train and provide technical assistance to others, improve and expand production and farm services and sites with alternative technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>One aspect that the FEM we attach great importance as part of economic empowerment is that women have legalized housing and land in your name so we teach workshops to raise awareness about land rights, are legalized land and encourage the construction of housing and its legalization. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a credit fund and market the products that we also promote training and exchanges in this field. </li></ul><ul><li>What we do in Production We produce In harmony with the environment. We produce organic products as the pink hibiscus, coffee, tea, wine, jams, vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers. Our Products range from coffee, to hibiscus, to Jamaica, to lettuce, etc. </li></ul>
  12. 12. La FEM: Organizing <ul><li>Organizing a better way, with strategic and operational plans, monitoring and evaluating all levels by developing and implementing organizational manuals </li></ul><ul><li>Trained and strengthened in technical and political capacities, as well as the processes and structures in the territories. </li></ul><ul><li>Aim to achieve greater operational self-sustainability </li></ul>
  13. 13. La FEM: Political <ul><li>Through partnerships and networks, they participate in communities and municipalities to local and national level. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare forums and meetings with municipal authorities and different personalities of the municipality. </li></ul><ul><li>They demand the enforcement of our rights and stand to make known our views to the citizenry. </li></ul>
  14. 14. La FEM: Belief <ul><li>What do we believe: In freedom and equality as values necessary for the integral development of women and men in diversity as part of the wealth of mankind in the right of all women to live free of violence in sexuality pleasant; in voluntary motherhood, on the urgent need to protect and preserve natural resources in the economic autonomy of women, in a spirituality that affirms the dignity of women and oppose any form of discrimination. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Overview: CALA <ul><li>Community Action on Latin America (CALA) is a Madison, Wisconsin-based student and community organization, founded in the early 1970s as a group committed to pursuing issues of social justice and U.S. accountability in Latin American affairs. CALA is funded in part by Community Shares of Wisconsin. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CALA: Mission <ul><li>Community Action on Latin America’s mission is to educate our local and campus community about underlying social, political and economic problems that are inherent to U.S. relations with Latin America and to work as activists in solidarity with groups in Latin America that are struggling for peace and social justice </li></ul>
  17. 17. What CALA Does <ul><li>CALA hosts speakers from Latin America and speakers from other countries to talk about current conditions in Latin America. CALA also works with other solidarity and advocacy organizations in the Madison area on events and programs. </li></ul>
  18. 18. CALA: Why? <ul><li>We have heard from our neighbors in Latin America that they are struggling in many ways. When we ask them how we can help, they have often said &quot;Change the policies of your government.&quot; Aid and assistance to people is important. But to create a long term improvement, we must also work to make sure the policies and practices of our own government in Latin America are respectful and fair. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Fair Trade is much more than a fair price!  Fair Trade principles include: <ul><li>Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit. </li></ul><ul><li>Fair labor conditions : Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic and transparent organizations : Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues. </li></ul><ul><li>Community development : Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification. </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental sustainability : Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations. ( Trans Fair USA ) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Q&A with La FEM <ul><li>How to get people interested in deeper issues? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Hand Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocates Upon Return </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passionate, Devoted, Brand Ambassadors </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Q&A <ul><li>How compete with others cheap coffee? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They see their devotion to fair trade as a way to set themselves apart from less socially conscious competitors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing market, but still small </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing and forging stronger connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More passionate, inspired drinkers, advocates of fair trade and committed to spreading the word </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Q&A <ul><li>Biggest Challenges? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>food security (corn, beans for their own consumption) - diversifying their income and diets vegetables, fruits, chickens, pigs, cows...mainly for their own consumption, but what's left over is sold in the local market. They are growing vegetables in greenhouses and receive a revolving productive package which comes with cows, pigs, chickens. Once these animals reproduce, the offspring are given to other women within the coop. La FEM is  assisting these women in buying/renting land to be able to cultivate basic grains for their own consumption. They are saving seeds and cutting costs for the next year's harvest. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Q&A <ul><li>Challenges Continued? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic violence continues to be a major issue as they are faced with strong machismo every day. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational survival (importance of being organized in a cooperative, under la FEM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Talked about CPC (political community counsels, I believe) which are small groups of 25 people in each community that are supposed to be representative of the needs of the people.  These are organized under the Sandinista government but la FEM does not totally agree with them because they have not included the needs of the women in these discussions and their needs still are not met.  So, they aren't happy with the work that La FEM is doing because it is something outside of the government and there is a certain territorial tension that exists between them.  To face these challenges, they are working to do things as best they can, to be as successful as possible.  They organize themselves in the Casa Sedes in each community where they are able to meet for different workshops, trainings, clinics, educational classes, etc. They say that they have been successful because CPC cannot carry out anywhere near as many projects as la FEM can.  They say that they are better off this way because their producers are more successful and there is no corruption, which gives them authenticity and morale. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Q&A <ul><li>Empowerment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>La FEM is doing very important work in empowering these women. They talked about how coffee is the most important export for their country and the second most traded product, but has always had a masculine face to it.  To be participating in the exporting of this product and in the fair trade market gives them more power and autonomy.  It allows them to make these social transformations and to really have an impact on these women's lives. Also, coffee was introduced here shortly after colonization.  It was brought here by the Spanish and was worked under slave labor conditions. This is the dark side of coffee, they say.  The workers were exploited and the dominant and rich have historically been those that control the production and sales of coffee.  But turning this around and focusing on women producers and offering them a more fair price for their work changes things and conquers inequalities. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Q&A <ul><li>What we can do? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They would like us as consumers to continue to make these women more visible.  To show others how far they have come and to recognize all of the hard work they have done to change things.  They said that the price they are receiving from Just Coffee is the best in all of Nicaragua.  Not only the monetary improvement, but also the relationship we have created with the growers constructs this solidarity relationship which helps the women to feel valued, noticed, and important </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Q&A <ul><li>How do people continue fighting and struggling when the road is long, challenges many, and the system seems rigged against…where do you find hope and inspiration? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From within </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They’ve done it successfully in the past and see success coming in the future </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fighting for the last 15 years, enjoy looking back and seeing all they’ve achieved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures you see now symbolize the monumental changes and achievements of all the women, brings a certain visibility to all their successes </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Q&A <ul><li>How can we bridge the gap between the US and where you are? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegations! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of knowledge, collaboration, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share the stories once returning to educate others about the importance of fair trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting with your dollars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They say that we are already doing this by coming down here and hearing their stories. However, we need to continue to educate and raise awareness of other consumers in the US.  Together we need to find alternatives to resist the neoliberal system and also understand the inequalities and realities that exist within our own country. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create Conscious Consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coffee is a beautiful medium to facilitate our interconnectedness </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Q&A <ul><li>What’s the legacy in Nicaragua? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Machismo culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War: the stories we heard about the war....(show pictures from the event in Esteli), the very touching personal stories that we heard at the monument in los Colorados and how the US supported guardia drastically affected their lives. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Q&A <ul><li>Main Goals, Vision for La FEM? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their three main goals are economic, ideological, and political empowerment for rural women in Nicaragua.  Economic empowerment and ideological empowerment go hand in hand. Once the women are more aware of their rights and what they deserve, they are able to have more economic autonomy and if the are more economically independent, they do not need to rely as much on men, thus being able to have more freedom. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Q&A <ul><li>Do you enjoy growing and producing coffee? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes they genuinely do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories of the successes coffee has brought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds community </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Q&A <ul><li>Will selling coffee to the US sustain your community? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agrarian culture, diversifying crops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trade Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are not relying on coffee, but will continue to produce and evolve as long as people are demanding this product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult education, self worth, value, inspiration to change their lives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They feel healthy, doing this work is sustainable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farm packets (land, pigs, cows, hibiscus, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic fertilizer, composting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funds coming from outside, pre financing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seed saving, non GMO </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Moving Forward <ul><li>Partnerships (Milwaukee and Madison)? </li></ul><ul><li>Space to present? </li></ul><ul><li>Present with other delegation members and Julia in August </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonials online for Just Coffee Delegations </li></ul><ul><li>Research increasing the frequency of Delegations with Just Coffee? </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing photos, videos, and journal entries online </li></ul><ul><li>Using social utilities as vehicles to share </li></ul>
  33. 33. Thank You Again