• David Simms

Saving Lives Through Coffee

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galations 6:2


Meet Elizabeth, a Burundian Coffee Farmer

What do you hope for your children?

“That someday they will have a life outside of poverty.”


When Ben Carlson, Long Miles Coffee (LMC) Founder and Owner, first met Elizabeth, she was carrying coffee cherries in a basket on her head into the washing station. One of LMC’s first farmers, Elizabeth’s life has been marked by the loss of her husband. She is the sole provider for her six children since he was killed in the war.


In Burundi, land is most families’ only lifeline, so widows can lose their land to their husband’s brother or other male family members after the death of a spouse. Thankfully, Elizabeth has been able to retain ownership of her land and she is caring for hundreds of coffee bushes, in addition to home and family.


She has given gifts of bananas and beans to Ben and Kristy Carlson over the years, and while it is hard for them to accept these gifts due to Elizabeth’s situation, to refuse them would be the antithesis of living in Christian community.


How LMC Supports Elizabeth and Other Smallholder Farmers

LMC holds themselves to a quadruple bottom line standard including financial, spiritual, social and environmental impacts.


By working with LMC, farmers are treated with Godly justice, enjoy positive working relationships, benefit from closer washing (collecting) stations, receive on-time payments at higher premiums, plus are eligible for monetary bonuses. Because of LMC, smallholder farmers like Elizabeth can be on the path to a thriving business, and out of desperate poverty.

Talanton’s 2020 Reinvestment in LMC

LMC was Talanton’s first investment in July 2019. Due to the positive financial, spiritual and social impacts of this investment, and because of the support of our investors and donors, we were able to reinvest in LMC to expand in Burundi this year and into Uganda in 2021.

COVID has not diminished coffee demand on a global scale in the niche market that LMC serves and demand for their specialty grade coffee remains high.


Talanton’s investment in LMC currently supports 2,835 farmers, 55 permanent jobs, 337 seasonal (harvest season) jobs and reaches 38 communities.


Since the end of 2019, an additional 335 farmers, 19 permanent and 87 seasonal jobs have been created thanks to God and because of your financial and prayerful support.

We hope Elizabeth’s story has touched your heart. In the coming months, we will share more stories of the way your support is creating jobs and bringing hope to farmers, workers, students, and their families. Please take a moment to look into the faces of these people, created and loved by God, and consider how His goodness in your life can be used to help others.


We pray that you and your families are staying healthy. Please be sure to let us know how we can pray for you.


God’s blessings,

David and the Talanton Team


P.S. To learn how you can partner with Talanton to create jobs and help lift people out of poverty in Christ’s name, please contact me directly or visit https://talantonllc.com/contact.

A Long Miles Coffee Washing Station. Farmers bring their coffee cherries to a washing station, where the coffee cherries are removed from the coffee bean.

Long Miles Coffee Farmer Payday. Each farmer has a card detailing how much coffee they have delivered to the station.


Create Jobs • Bring Hope • Transform Lives