While it may be obvious to say this, it's sometimes hard to remember: Our food, everything we eat and drink, comes from somewhere, not just the back room of the local grocery store. Coffee, in particular, has to get from the coffee tree somewhere else in the world to my coffee cup every morning or my day doesn't go well. Yet, like everything else in my life, the liquid in my cup is connected to more then just the start of my day but to the lives of people I'm never going to meet. The choice I made last week to buy a pound of coffee for my morning has implications for the people who grew it, harvested it, shipped it, roasted it, bagged it and placed it on the shelf in the store. Out of all the people in that supply chain, my choice effects the farmer most of all.
My morning coffee may come from one or several several different places in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, or the Caribbean. Coffee grows on a tree that is indigenous to Northern Africa. It was imported to the Americas as part of the European Colonization in the 18th Century and became a major crop in Nicaragua in the 1870’s. It is one of the primary Nicaraguan exports and a critical source of income for the farmers who grow and harvest it.