In September of 2011 we joined a network marketing company, Our Mission Coffee, in order to raise money to fight child slavery and human trafficking. Unfortunately, we didn’t really want to do an MLM model so we couldn’t bring ourselves to try to “build a business to be financially free” but we DID learn a ton about Fair Trade, organic coffee, child slavery in the coffee industry and unjust wages to coffee farmers all over the world!
In early 2012, they informed all their reps that their business model was “unsustainable” due to a rise in coffee prices (which the email said was predicted over a year ago so we kinda wondered why they didn’t try to start fixing their business model when they knew the prices were going to rise…) Regardless, they went on to say they were shutting it down until they regrouped and would be working hard to catch up on the backorders. They had stopped shipping the coffee, then they shut down the rep’s sites and apparently (thank God we DIDN’T try to build a business) stopped paying all their reps their network marketing commissions.
We waited to see what they would do but after several months, after much prayer and research, we decided to move on because we had put in a lot of work using organic, Fair Trade coffee as a fundraiser for our work in fighting human trafficking.
In March of 2012, we started our own Fair Trade, organic coffee business, Whole Earth International’s Coffee For Change. We source from coffee suppliers who actually have a relationship with their farmers AND our suppliers (we have 3) all donate from their OWN profits to help charities, the farmers and communities AND to protect and restore the earth’s fragile ecosystem! (Our Mission was buying from Bongo Java which gets their coffee from Coffee Co-Op in Atlanta, Georgia…when we found that out, we felt like we’d been somewhat deceived because the Our Mission Coffee website really promoted “our farmers” and it turned out they maybe didn’t even know the coffee farmers.)
Visit Coffee for Change (http://coffee4change.com) to learn more (and the same products you see on that site will be on the ChocoJava Social Justice website…and several others as well.) If you’re interested, you can earn money for your favorite charity and have your own website selling organic coffee and chocolate too (and it’s not MLM nor is it a traditional affiliate model…visit the site and learn more!) http://coffee4change.com (we’re also working on a site dedicated to helping children in chocolate slavery, Chocolate For Change (http://chocolate4change.com but it’s still under construction.)