Ethical Bean Coffee seeks disaster relief following landslide in northern Guatemala

VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Vancouver's Ethical Bean Coffee is calling for aid in response to a disaster that has wiped out Guatemalan coffee co-op, ASOBAGRI.

Heavy predawn rains caused a mudslide in the northern Guatemalan town of Santa Cruz Barillas, burying four homes and destroying the ASOBAGRI coffee co-op offices and warehouse last Tuesday.

Rescuers uncovered the bodies of fifteen villagers, including two brothers and a sister, aged between four and seven, who died when mud buried their homes. Eight co-op members were among the dead.

"Two decades of effort was lost in the blink of an eye," said Baltazar Francisco Miguel, General Manager of the ASOBAGRI coffee co-op on Monday during a Skype conversation with Ethical Bean Coffee.

The landslide, measuring 250 meters long and 200 meters high, followed four earthquakes that shook the south of the country in quick succession. Heavy rains continue to pound Barillas and townspeople fear another landslide. Businesses remain closed and total damages are estimated at roughly $3,000,000. The cost to rebuild ASOBAGRIʼs facilities is estimated at over $550,000. With a population of 127,000, the coffee co-op is one of the town's leading sources of income for the 1,200 members and 25 employees growing coffee in the surrounding foothills.

Ethical Bean Coffee is asking local roasters, Fairtrade Canada and the general public to join them in donating to the disaster relief by visiting their website at www.ethicalbean.com.

About Ethical Bean
Ethical Bean Coffee roasts only Fairtrade Certified, Organic coffee from around the world. Founded in 2003, the Vancouver, BC based company is committed to ensuring small-scale farmers receive a fair price for their efforts. Ethical Bean coffee is roasted in a carbon neutral facility where the company works from the ground up to reduce their impact on the environment.

Last year Ethical Bean launched their iPhone App allowing consumers to follow the story of their coffee from crop to cup, and the company received a nod from the queen of daytime TV when it was featured in the 2010 holiday edition of Oprah's favorite things. For more information visit www.ethicalbean.com

SOURCE Ethical Bean Coffee

For further information:

Media contact: Emily Sproule
Marketing and Communications Specialist - Ethical Bean Coffee
T: 604.505.0134
E: emily@ethicalbean.com

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