Oxfam in 2002 launched “What’s that in your coffee?”, an international campaign to draw attention to the global crisis destroying the livelihoods of 25 million coffee farmers in more than 50 countries. Make Trade Fair, the overarching campaign, included A2 and A3 posters with photographs by Rupert Elvin, along with a petition to large coffee companies.
“What’s that in your coffee? Poverty and misery for coffee growers, massive profits for big coffee companies. If you love coffee but find this hard to swallow, join us now and demand a fair price for poor growers.”
“There’s a bitter aftertaste in America’s cup of coffee. It’s the daily poverty and misery faced by millions of desperate coffee farmers and their families,” said Liam Brody, Coffee Program Coordinator at Oxfam America. “This worldwide humanitarian crisis requires an immediate and powerful response from governments, corporations, and consumers.” “Americans can help end the coffee crisis by insisting on Fair Trade coffee wherever they buy or drink coffee,” Brody continued. “Fair Trade coffee is available in stores and restaurants all over the country. They can also join Oxfam’s efforts to get coffee roasters to support the Coffee Rescue Plan.”
Six years later Starbucks has agreed to work in the interests of Ethiopian farmers by signing a distribution, marketing and licensing agreement that recognizes Ethiopia’ s right to control the use of its specialty coffee brands, Harar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe.