Written by Jack
Fresh from the trip to the Machare African coffee Farm and the surrounding smallholders in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro I am sitting, reflecting on the privilege it is to now be part of the EA journey, and to realise how great it is to have been working with these communities for the past 12 years.
I’ve been with EA just over two years now and this was my first trip to origin, and what a trip! I knew we have good coffee, and I knew we did great stuff in country, but to see the attention to detail involved in bringing us such high grade beans; to see the impact of the way we do business; and the social investments we make – it just blew me away.
A lot has changed over the course of the decade but two things that stand out are:
- The increase in attention to detail
- The improvements in farmers living standards.
Whilst the potential of the coffee has always been outstanding, coffee farmers have grown in their care for their crops and we have seen an increase in quality and consistency year on year. It is touching to see how proud the farmers are of their coffee and grateful for our ongoing relationship. They know and trust that as long as they keep producing their coffee at a high standard, we will continue to supply it to coffee shops across the UK.
For us on a personal level it is hugely encouraging to see how EA and its customers have helped to improve the lives of farmers and their communities. Hearing stories of how farmers can send their children to school, build a bigger home and afford healthcare reminds us of why we believe the direct trade model has to be the right
way of doing business.
Furthermore the success story of the Mweka villages and the relationship with EA is spreading across the region. Our hope is that it will lead to more relationships either with us or other businesses who share our way of doing trade and investing in people.
We are looking forward to the new year and decade with renewed encouragement to get this unique coffee into more cups and further the lives of our friends in Tanzania, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia . . . .