The Vital Link: A Coordinators Perspective
After working around the world, Tara Scanlan, a core conference coordinator for The Vital Link Conference, gives insights on her reasons for getting involved in the conference and Initiatives of Change.
'I want coffee consumers to know how difficult it is to cultivate the beans, and that when you pay a fair price for coffee it is allowing us to at least cover our production costs, while giving coffee farmers the opportunity to provide food, education and health care for our families,' was a message from Mario Condori, president of a coffee cooperative in Bolivia, shared with me while working with Crossroads International in La Paz. This has inspired me to spread his message to everyone that will listen, and take a first step in changing my habits to help families like his.
In the past five years I have shared moments with individuals in the nooks and crannies of the world. I realized how much power we, as developed consumers, have over the quality of life of people who live in poverty. We, or should I say I, as a Canadian have the opportunity to make a choice. Whether this choice is where I will buy my coffee today, to what I want to be when I ‘grow up’. It is these decisions that impact how much power developed world buyers have over the vulnerabilities and the volatile markets of lower income economies. I often sit and ask myself: How do I participate in this? Do I contribute positively to my community, country and world?
It is these questions that have brought me to CAUX, and particularly to get involved with The Vital Link Conference. It is my personal goal to continue adding drops to the ‘positive change’ bucket, along with the unconventional and ‘out of the box’ conference approach, that makes me believe so much that with this conference we, as a collective of individuals, can make a change in the world – even if it is just one cup of coffee at a time.