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Coffee Co-op Brews Mugs of Peace

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/coffee_coop_brews_mugs_of_peace_20050826

In his three decades at the helm of the Thanksgiving Coffee Co. in Fort Bragg, California, Paul Katzeff has pioneered the process of buying coffee beans directly from Third World growers and funneling money back to them after sales to promote economic self-sufficiency and social justice. But Katzeff had never helped Jewish coffee farmers, who don't usually figure in the ranks of those growers. That changed with the recent release of Mirembe Kawomera, or "Delicious Peace," a Fair Trade -- and kosher -- coffee produced by a new cooperative of Jewish, Muslim and Christian coffee farmers from the Mbale region of Uganda. "We think this coalition is unique in all of Africa," said coffee farmer J. J. Keki, leader of the 700-member Abayudaya Ugandan Jewish community that is at the core of the project.

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