Volunteer Activist Campaign in Austria

"It's your cup of coffee, too!"

Make your morning better, make the lives of others better through your choice!


Drinking coffee is a lifestyle and an everyday life ritual. We spend a lot of money on our morning coffee, and also in coffeehouses. The coffee that you sip could be produced by women in the global South. You choose your coffee to make your morning better, but your choice also determines others' lives. For example, in Guatemala, it means that 70% of those working on the fields in coffee plantations are women, and over half of all coffee pickers don't receive a minimum wage, in violation of Guatemalan labour laws. It means they are paid 3 Euros a day, and work overtime for free, while men reap all the credit through ownership, the acknowledgements and naturally almost all of the profit. Fortunately, some organizations (e.g. Café Femenino, La FEM or Zapatista coffee cooperatives) have stood up against this sad phenomenon and established companies that trade coffee in a fair way. Through your habits as customer, you can also decide to support either an unfair producing system or an initiative on equal working conditions. You can also write to coffee companies to voice your anger or even to famous promoters of unfairly traded coffee. Consciousness and the joy of the awakening heavenly beverage don’t exclude each other, and there is no better place to show it and prove it than in Vienna, „the city of coffee“.

About this campaign

Grenzenlos together with Frauen*solidarität (Women*‘s solidarity) has created the social-media-campaign “It’s your cup of coffee, too” to show people what they can do to change their coffee-drinking habits in a more fair way and support the farmers and enable good working conditions through pictures and information on our facebook-page. We used the hashtag #mycupofcoffee for all our posts.

To gather pictures for the campaign we organized workshops in the international summer camps organised by Grenzenlos with the aim to enable young international volunteers to think out of the box, raise empathy through role playing and gain information on the background on coffee trading. The interactive part was followed by the activism part where the participants shared their ideas and thoughts about the working conditions on big coffee cup schemes. The volunteers took photos with their statements and these pictures have been posted on the campaign’s facebook page, some of the participants shared it also on their personal profiles.

To involve and activate even more people we started the “Coffee Cup Challenge”, where we nominated several NGOs working with volunteers (ICYE committees – from many different countries) or working on social and development issues (Fairtrade Österreich, Frauensolidarität, Women on Air, and many more) via facebook to share their thoughts on fair trade and the situation of coffee farmers. The idea was to write them on coffee cups, take a photo and share it on their facebook page. To spread the challenge in the social network they had to nominate others. Through the coffee cup challenge we could reach about 200 people more with each post.

Video of the campaign: "It's your cup of coffee, too"

Check out the campaign's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/itsyourcupofcoffeetoo

Learn more about the organisations involved here:

www.grenzenlos.or.at / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grenzenlos-Interkultureller-Austausch-ICYE-Austria/135537169821063?ref=stream

www.frauensolidaritaet.org / https://de-de.facebook.com/Frauensolidaritaet