International Ministries

Maun Jai

January 24, 2013 Journal
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Does anyone want coffee?

During our travels in Chiang Mai, we met missionary Mike Mann who heads up ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Program).  He has been a missionary in Thailand for 22 years.  He is specifically trained in International Agricultural Education.  Over the years, he has worked with the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand on the issues of Water and Sanitation, Irrigation, Tree Crops, Livestock Raising, etc.

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The focus during our meeting with him was COFFEE.  The hill tribes have raised opium in the past, but now they have learned to grow coffee and have a better life for their families.  Mike forms coffee coops with groups of farmers in a village.  Coffee is grown, processed, and sold.  At the time this program started, no one knew about Thai coffee.  Now, the villages produce 200 tons of it a year. 

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While we were visiting, we got to see the drying, roasting, and bagging process.  10 tons of coffee a year are roasted at this site and then sold at the Lanna Café which opened 15 years ago.  One of the coffee blends is called Maun Jai which means whole hearted happiness.  Mike worked with the executives of Starbucks and got them to buy this blend of coffee to roast and sell.  The agreement was the 5% of sales would come back to ITDP for development.  Some of this return plus other funds provided by Starbucks have been used towards building health clinics and schools.

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Let’s all have some COFFEE!!!