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Keeping Our Community Caffeinated  • IATP Report: Getting to Know the U.S. Farm Bill
Preparing for a Packaging Shift  • Quote of the Month  

April was all coffee, coffee, coffee for the Peace Crew. We mingled with our community at scores of local events, then jetted off to Portland, OR, for the Specialty Coffee Association of America's biggest conference ever, where we rubbed elbows with coffee people from every continent. We brought two of our producer partners back with us and have been showing Iwan and Ujang around the Twin Cities, introducing them to more drinkers of their delicious Sumatran coffee. And that's just the short version. There's lots of local events, some new packaging coming, and a short and sweet guide to how eaters like you can get involved in this year's Farm Bill. For more of what's been happening, read on!

April kicked off our summer events season with a bang. Earth Day is always a busy one for us as we brew up lots of our tasty, organic coffee for scores of people turning out to do a little good for a planet (thanks to all of you who did a little something this year!). This year was no exception as we passed out coffee to the St. Paul Spring Parks Cleanup, Minneapolis Earth Day Cleanup, Get in Gear Race and lots more non-profit fundraisers.

While we're usually on the road for our events, last month we brought the party to us, hosting the fourth sold-out North Coast Nosh (NCN) in our roastery. Co-hosted, as always, by the Heavy Table, this was the largest Nosh to date, packing nearly 400 vendors and eager noshers into our roastery.

Our Coffee Connoisseur, Anne Costello, led several cuppings, our roasters demonstrated the craft of roasting, and guests sipped and sampled fantastic local food and drinks. Fulton Beer, Common Roots Catering, Sadia’s Sauces, Chowgirls, Cookie Cart, Gastrotruck and so many more.

It's been a busy month and we've been whirling about like beans in a roaster, having fun, and meeting lots of coffee drinkers while we're at it. Stay tuned for more ways to taste coffee, support our community, and have a great time this summer!


by Andrew Ranallo, Communications Associate, IATP

It only comes around about once every five years, but its implications are enormous: The U.S. Farm Bill. Its edicts cover everything from crop production, rural development and energy to international food aid for developing countries and nutrition, including SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). Simply put, it affects us all and has ramifications on what we eat, how much we pay for it, how food is distributed and what it’s made of. So why are so many people unfamiliar with the U.S. Farm Bill?

For one, the process of drafting the Farm Bill has traditionally been closed, open only to the lawmakers drafting the policies and the powerful agribusiness lobby groups with enough resources to heavily influence the outcome. This needs to change.

For 25 years, IATP has been fighting for a fair and healthy Farm Bill. This year, with another Farm Bill just around the corner, we’ve created a new series of papers that cover what we see as the priorities for the next Farm Bill. Issues like international food aid and why 65 percent of the United States’ budget is spent on shipping food around the world rather than buying locally. Issues like equal access to land and why racial and ethnic minorities make up 36.3 percent of the population but only 7.75 percent of farmers.

If the food system we want -- one that’s fair to eaters, farmers and the land -- is going to be a reality, it will take real pressure from places other than agribusiness. Take a look at our new series of papers on priorities in the 2012 Farm Bill, or brush up on the basics with IATP’s Understanding the Farm Bill series. Then, get involved by supporting positive change, like the Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act. Also, make sure to join the discussion on our Understanding the Farm Bill Facebook page!

Andrew Ranallo is communications associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Right now, he’s reading Born with a Junk Food Deficiency by Martha Rosenburg.

Coming soon to your kitchen cabinet: a new Peace Coffee bag!
For those of you who regularly order your Peace Coffee online, look for a new bag starting June 1st. You may recognize the package as our 12oz. bag, originally created to better fit onto grocery shelves. Now we're streamlining our lineup and bringing that bag to all of you. No window for the beans to peep through and a sturdy, square-cornered construction means fresher coffee and fewer shipping snafus for everyone!

We hope you'll enjoy better breakfast reading because of it too -- there's lots more room for information about the coffee, including tasting notes so you can compare impressions with our roasters. Also look for fun facts in hidden places, and, of course more of the same delicious organic, fairly traded coffee inside.

If you do the arithmetic, you will notice a small price increase going into effect at the same time. This increase reflects our steadily rising raw material costs, in particular, coffee prices. Even with this increase, brewing a cup of coffee at home remains one of the most inexpensive luxuries you can indulge in -- especially when one considers the staggering amount of work that goes growing each pound of coffee.

As always, our five-pound bags are an economic option and a great way to be green by using less packaging!

Thanks for your continued support, and feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions.

"The people united will never be defeated."

~ Cesar Chavez

Peace News is a monthly publication from the crew at Peace Coffee.
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