In 1999 the Diocese Meru, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) located on the Southern and Eastern slopes of Mt. Meru, in Tanzania, and the Greater Milwaukee Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) on Wisconsin's Western shores of Lake Michigan were joined in a global, faith based partnership.
In 1999, a Meru coffee farmers asked a visiting Milwaukee pastor the simple question; "We grow coffee; you drink coffee; would you buy your coffee from us?" The pastor, a passionate lover of a great cup of coffee, thought this was a fantastic idea. The Greater Milwaukee Synod group studying the possibilities became aware that coffee farming was the economic backbone of the region. The group also learned that coffee prices had fallen drastically in the prior 10 years, farmers co-ops were closing, and the local farming economy was in trouble.
The Mt. Meru coffee project's MISSION is to develop and grow justice -based relationships, building on fair prices and practices between the Meru coffee growers and coffee consumers.
The Mt. Meru coffee project (MMCP) was born and grows in the basic teachings of the faith: "love your neighbor" and "do justice". After brewing and sampling the farmer's magnificent coffee, the partnership gathered around its newly formed motto "Doing Justice Never Tasted So Good!". MMCP imported its first 8,000 pounds of coffee in 2001.
The Mt. Meru Coffee Project empowers coffee lovers with an opportunity to build justice-based relationships with the Meru coffee farmers of Tanzania. This relationship calls upon the basic principals of "Fair Trade" by providing a fair price for the products we desire, In doing so, with every delicious cup, you are empowering each small coffee farmer with the ability to:
- support their families
- send their children to school
- access health care
- sustain and improve their farms
- support their local cooperatives, villages and churches