Numerous companies within the United States coffee industry, which has for decades taken market advantage of the hard labor and skill of millions of people in developing countries to milk profits, have swiftly responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s immediately infamous “shithole countries” comments made last week.
Portland-based green coffee import company Sustainable Harvest responded publicly with a letter signed by its president Liam Brody.
“His remarks dehumanize our fellow human beings — of which countries like mine have done in unconscionable ways across history,” Brody wrote “They are racist. They foolishly undermine U.S. business interests and national security. They are simply untrue. They are dangerous. They encourage violence. They are cruel and hurtful. They miss the innovation, economic growth and entrepreneurship that rivals our own. They are un-American. They are not ok — and, I vigorously disagree.”
Gjergj Dollani, a 40-year-old Albanian immigrant who founded Cafe Chocolat in Washington D.C., replied to Trump’s comments made during a closed-door meeting on immigration policy by offering free drip coffee to Haitians, Salvadorans, Africans and Norwegians — the latter group added in reference to Trump’s comments that the U.S. should try to get more immigrants from countries like Norway, rather than from “shithole countries.”
Philadelphia-based roaster/retailer Herman’s Coffee this week unveiled the S&#@hole Blend, with $5 from each bag sold going to the immigrant support services agency Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.
“Our enigmatic president, Donald Trump, may not want immigrants from the ‘shithole’ countries of the world, but we at Herman’s like to embrace all people,” the company wrote in a release of the blend. “We also happen to think some of these ‘shithole’ countries produce some excellent coffee, so much so that we decided to honor Donald and roast a welcoming blend of coffees from these countries (Ethiopia and El Salvador to be precise) and use it to raise money for immigrant relief.”
Finally, a whole new roasting brand called Shithole Country Coffee has popped up in Brooklyn, founded by three friends with a combined 30 years experience in the specialty coffee industry, according to the SCC website. A Daily Coffee News request for more information about the company was not immediately replied to.
According to the company’s web page and other marketing materials, it was established “to celebrate the people and coffee-growing regions of Africa, Central America and South America.”
“We share a love for gourmet coffee and are deeply distressed by the President’s recent comments about Haiti and Africa,” the company says. “We are cognizant of the fact that for over 1,200 years, the African continent has been growing and farming some of the most cherished coffees in the world.”
SCC is currently offering bags of five different single-country coffees for $14.99 plus shipping, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the National Immigration Law Center through March 31, 2018.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page located at the bottom of this site for contact information.