BBC radio interview today about the latest trip to Tanzania and Ian becoming a tribal chief
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Category: Farm Updates
Coffee trees and landscape can look beautiful in many countries but visiting for us isn't just about photos - it's the people, stories and relationships that matter.
We get to check farms for quality and environment; we get to see the workers, but the relationships we form are increasingly becoming special friendships. The stories we are a part of have far more impact than we could have hoped for 11 years ago when we set out on this adventure.
I got back from Brazil only last week and I'm reflecting on the journey with this family – it keeps getting better and better. Not only do they produce great coffee, but their care of workers and environment is testimony to who they are as human beings. When we first bought coffee from Isaltino in 2010, his son Athos worked out the export paperwork and procedure to make it happen. That was the impetus for him to go on and establish his own export business with two others.
Not content with doing well for themselves, off the back of their own success they are helping other farmers, developing speciality coffee and increasing income for others too. With passion for speciality coffee Athos, Demilson and Herico are now looking up, literally 1000ft higher up, into the mountains at Jacutinga, where a small rural community have the potential to produce exceptional coffee if they can just be taught to invest the time in selective harvesting and better processing.
In partnership with them we are now looking at a project to invest in that community, to bring about sustainable incomes, higher standards of living and consistently fantastic coffee.
Travelling is rarely comfortable, but always an adventure, and the scenery can be stunning - check out the photos online.
Here's to more adventures,
Ian & EATeam
Matti Foncha came and visited us today in Gloucester. A coffee farmer himself, he also has a role representing his region and fellow farmers to develop trading relationships in Europe and North America. He has a small company to export coffee and service the farmers but he's a man on a mission. He understands that business can be a tool for the greater good, and not just for selfish gain.
We shared coffee, lunch, and more coffee whilst talking about crops for 2017 and the amazing work he's doing to promote sustainability in the region, develop farming and encourage fairness and quality. He is building models and piloting ideas that will champion sustainability and change to hopefully secure farming and income for the next generation. What inspires me about this guy is he doesn't need to. He could sit back on his farm and just do enough for himself, but he's driven, even called, to more.
We love this guy and his passion.
Next for EA & Cameroon? Another delivery in 2017 arranged by Matti for us, and then we need to grow demand so as it can become a mainstream option for our customers alongside Tanzania and Brazil. Then a visit, consider projects on the ground, and start to ship our own containter each harvest.
Do you remember we told you about Kichao village, Mweka, Tanzania?
With no access to clean water, they had to walk 1-2km, 5 or 6 times every day to collect water for washing, drinking, cooking, cleaning and their animals, and it wasn't even clean water! Well, with your help, we have caught, treated and piped water straight into the village and changed the lives of nearly 100 families!
26 families have even already made their own connection so they have their own tap.
It wasn't without it's difficulties and couldn't have been done without the help of excellent people at Machare Farm. We've learned a lot from the project, and now with your continued support EA has plans to continue this project into other villages.
Humbling, and life-changing.
Thank you for helping to make dreams reality!
Here's a quick water project slideshow - video and more photos soon...