Explosive Taste, 100% Bomb Free

Explosive Taste, 100% Bomb Free

Our coffee to help Laos (Vietnam's neighbor) heal from the Southeast Asian conflicts began with sharing wok-roasted coffee with a group of Lao coffee farmers. The conversation turned to sharing traditional coffee-growing methods and their struggles growing coffee in Laos. Indeed, there were many obstacles, so we asked if there was something Breyting could do to help. Their response was immediate and profound: help us remove the bombs that are killing our people and help us sell our coffee so we can afford to educate our children so they can escape poverty.

Coffee: Farmers in Laos faced a significant hurdle in selling their coffee in America due to the 20-year trade restrictions imposed on the country. These restrictions, a consequence of political changes, were finally lifted in 2005. However, the coffee world did not know Laos even grew coffee, and the farmers did not know any coffee traders outside of Laos to sell their coffee. To bridge this economic gap, Breyting took out full-page ads in industry coffee magazines, letting the world know Laos had coffee as well as 80 million unexploded bombs. We spent years building relationships with farmers within Southeast Asia and introducing them to coffee importers worldwide, resulting in millions of pounds a year of coffee being exported to new markets.

Bombs: Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance (a staggering 270 million bombs) on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—that is equal to a planeload of bombs every eight minutes, 24-hours a day, for nine years. For over 15 years, Breyting has continued using our voice to keep the UXO issue relevant today. This includes sending our UXO coffee to leaders all over the world with a booklet that contains photos and facts and a personnel note asking them to please get involved or increase their funding to remove the UXOs (unexploded ordnance—bombs) and provide for UXO victim assistance programs for the Lao people.

Small actions matter, even drinking coffee.

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