Some of you have probably heard of Equal Exchange, the worker owned coffee cooperative based in West Bridgewater, MA. I first found out about them because I was obsessed with their extra dark chocolate, as happens to me from time to time. They are well known for working with small farmers around the world to get good money for their product, but we small farmers on the other side also get support from this rocking cooperative. Instead of throwing the burlap bags that hold their raw beans into the garbage, they send them off with local farmers to completely reuse!
I have been over there three times in the last ten days, and so decided to write a tell-all/homage (with special thanks to Ian, Mallory and Dan who took time out of their busy work days to bring pallets of burlap to my bay and help me fill up my truck)!
Here is what it looks like when I go there:
Pallet after pallet of burlap bags filled with green (unroasted) beans are stacked.
The beans come from coop farmers all over the world. Each bag has the original location printed on it.
After the roasters have slit the bags and let the beans fall out they pile them back onto the pallets where they patiently wait for farmers like us to pick them up and re-purpose them.
Next time: burlap in the field – a weed suppression story!