Monday, October 8th is recognized as Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples Day). Did you know that Christopher Columbus introduced coffee to the Americas on his expeditions to the Caribbean starting in 1492? The transfer of people, culture, crops and disease his voyages kicked off is known as the Columbian Exchange, and it transformed the world. Indigenous populations who were decimated by disease and cruelty introduced crops like tomatoes, maize, and potatoes to the Europeans. The colonizers likewise brought foods like wheat, rice, livestock, and coffee to the New World, forever changing the culture and environment.
Since its introduction, coffee has become a staple crop throughout Latin American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia. However, the coffee industry has historically exploited native peoples and their lands. Today, poor working conditions and low wages persist in the coffee industry.
However, in recent decades there have been efforts to create a more equitable industry. The Fair Trade movement seeks to put power and profits back into the hands of producers and coffee growers. At Vera Roasting Company we are proud to support Fair Trade farmers. All CoffVee is Fair Trade Certified™ through Fair Trade USA. You can feel good about sipping on our Colombian Medium Roast CoffVee this Columbus Day Weekend.