Maya Fair Trade
Fair trade certifications or other alternative models of economic trade are important and to be promoted. But are often limited by poor distribution, lack of awareness of consumer and difficulties to apply the very same value practices to artisan productions of Maya weaving and embroidery (see Maya Works as an attempt).
The following video illustrate the values of fair trade coffee in its production and in connection to the struggle of Las Abejas of Chiapas. Grounds for Action is a video director by Dr. Marco Tavanti on the Maya Vinic Fair trade and organic coffee cooperative from the indigenous Maya people of the civil society organization Las Abejas (the bees), in Chiapas, Mexico. The video (TRT 17 min) shows how the cooperative emerged as a positive and peaceful response after the Acteal massacre of December 22, 1997.
Members of Maya Vinic know that the real struggle in Chiapas is more than ever an economic struggle linked to their rights to cultivate their lands and sell their products at a fair price. However, a fair trade-certified coffee is not a guarantee that their coffee will sell. Maya Vinic accelerated its process of certification thanks to the already existing network with fair trade importers and roasters from Europe and the United States.
For more information about the co-op, visit the Maya Vinic web site (Spanish only) at http://www.mayavinic.com/
To buy Certified Organic and Fair Trade coffee from Maya Vinic contact their preferred US importer Higher Grounds Trading Company at http://www.highergroundstrading.com
The video was produced by volunteer video professionals and produced by Jubilee Economics Ministries (JEM).
Posted by Dr. Marco Tavanti
Text based on the article Tavanti, Marco. “Chiapas Civil Society Organizations: Cultural Resistance and Economic Alternatives through Fair Trade Cooperatives and International Networks.” Sociedad Civil y Desarrollo Local, Primera Edición 2007, 445-460.