Development organizations can help farmers improve Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List yields or cope with climate change. marketing and branding is another matter. Timothy Rann 29:08 That is the missing piece, I think, for a lot of development organizations. They get the technical assistance—productivity, quality, climate-smart agriculture, helping the farmer. But that connection in the market is something that, in my opinion, generally is best left to the private sector and Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List a company like Vega, which has those sales relationships and knows how to bridge that gap. Jonathan Levine 29:26 Tim and Rob both think this model—of processing commodities in communities where they’re grown—could work in other regions Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List like Africa and Asia. And not just for coffee. Crops like nuts and cacao, too.
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Peter Roberts of Emory University says Vega’s inclusive model Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List of globalization would be fundamentally different from what prevails today: a lopsided system that typically leaves hardworking rural people poor, but kicks in development aid as a kind of consolation prize. Peter Roberts 29:50 We sort of take commerce and we translate it into charity. Like, oh, you know, given how much we’ve extracted, we at least owe people the money for Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List their schools, or we at least should help them, you know, build latrines. And that’s a very, very different kind of income than actually is earned income. And going back to Vega, with more effective participation, I get to find out exactly what my effort is Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List worth, and I get paid in accordance with what my effort is worth. Jonathan Levine 30:29 That would be a big change. But all the tools are in place to make it possible.
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The new global infrastructure—for transportation, Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List communication and data sharing—is knocking down the barriers that have kept farmers in poor countries cut off from the wealth their labor creates. Rob Terenzi, for one, hopes other coffee companies, including the major brands, will follow his lead. Rob Terenzi 30:54 We’re still a very small player, but the more the big players in coffee can see our model working, the more they will Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List invest in processing in coffee-growing communities. Jonathan Levine 31:05 Fixing a broken global trading system doesn’t happen overnight. But sometimes, it takes Wallis and Futuna Islands Email List a little company from the outside to get things started. Jonathan Levine 31:27 Glad you could come along today on our journey to Nicaragua with Vega Coffee.