Coffee Exchange co-owner Bill Fishbein, founder of The Coffee Trust (and Coffee Kids), has worked on sustainable development projects in Latin America for over 29 years. Over the last several years The Coffee Trust has created a comprehensive  integrated  sustainable development program in the Ixil region of Guatemala, one of the poorest coffee-growing regions in the world.  The program combines support for education, health care, food security and economic development along with a strong capacity building component to promote sustainable development at origin.

La Roya Recovery Fund

When the La Roya fungus attacked Central American coffee in 2013, the people at The Coffee Trust adjusted their focus from general sustainability issues like health care, education and capacity building, ventilated efficient stoves and micro-credit programs for women, to life-and-death strategies to deal with the La Roya. Two main features, EMs (effective micro-organisms) which protect coffee plants from La Roya, and Food Sovereignty, where methodologies of planting and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables and chickens are handed down from farmer to farmer (compesino-a-compesino) by other farmers in the Mayan tradition.

Standard Coffee Trust sustainability programs include education, economic development, food security, and capacity building.