An email from Rev. Billy announces that Starbucks has stopped blocking Ethiopians from trademarking their ancient coffees Sidamo, Yirgacheffe and Harar. In addition, the company is signing a licensing agreement with Ethiopian coffee farmers, which means that more money will come to the impoverished coffee families of Ethiopia.
"This is a most significant breakthrough for coffee activism," says the Rev. "Why are the workers at the bottom of the 80 billion dollar coffee industry starving? this is globalized greed and THAT'S A SIN, children. This is precedent-setting. Now people everywhere can hope to achieve ownership of their own coffees and have more bargaining power. This might be the way to force the big coffee companies to go Fair Trade. Change-a-lujah!"
On Thursday, May 10 at 7pm the Reverend will preach a public statement from the "Sidamo Prayer Campaign" at Housing Works Books, 26 Crosby Street in New York City. The event is free and open to the public.
Photo by Fred Askew Photography