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Bicycle Coffee Co. pedals fair-trade coffee

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JOSE MIGUEL GOMEZ/Reuters

(Read caption) A coffee grower picks coffee fruits in a plantation near Montenegro in Quindio province of Colombia. Colombia is the world's largest producer of high-quality Arabica beans.

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Every Thursday, thanks to a content partnership with brother-sister duo Journey of Action, Dowser.org explores Gen Y changemakers – and how they fit in with the rest of the world.

In 2010, the United States imported 24 million 60-kilogram (132-lb.) bags of coffee. It's the second-largest importer in the world, after the European Union.

And here is where that coffee came from. The top five, in order, are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Guatemala – all regions that share, aside from similar weather patterns, developing economies. Coffee is the second-most valuable commodity exported from developing countries, after oil.

However, the majority of coffee that you see on supermarket shelves is sold at a steep markup that increases the profits of the company selling it to you, without helping the farmer who grew the beans and harvested them under the hot sun.

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