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Category: Farm Updates

  1. A visit from Matti, all the way from Cameroon

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    Cameroon Boyo

    Meeting with Matti Foncha, Gloucester UK, March 2019

    matti at ea

    Great to catch up; sad to hear of the troubles in the region; thankful for the on-going relationship; excited for the new crop and a visit soon.

    The civil war in the region is awful whilst barely making the news. A combination of no oil or rich natural resources, and other international distractions like Brexit, means a tragic story is unfolding with little awareness or assistance from the international community. That happens so often in our broken world, but when you sit with a friend, a brother, another human being, and hear their first hand horror stories of villages burned, people kidnapped and killed, and worse, then it brings home the reality of what is only a short story on a news website.

    I am saddened by all of this; frustrated by my helplessness to change it; and angry at our messed-up world.

     

    Our new Boyo coffee is now here and we are roasting. Delayed out of country because of the unrest, fears over the security of the mill, and then road blocks, but it's here now and tasting great. Chocolate and dark fruits accent this mellow coffee.

    Right now this story, this coffee, embodies who we are as EA – our trips out for the past two years have been cancelled, but our relationship has endured. Matti and his fellow farmers are grateful for our commitment in the face of delays, and we are humbled by that gratitude. Helpless on a grand scale the one thing we can do is remain loyal to the relationship and the business whereby they can maintain some income, and have a business to continue on when the troubles cease rather than having to start all over again. And of course it's good coffee, no compromise.

    An economy in turmoil, and a region destabilised, but hope remains.

    For now a secure mill and transport and so there is hope that later this year we can get a new delivery of a small micro lot, and hope for some lasting peace. 

  2. Fresh roasted and ready, Jacutinga

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    EA are continuing to work with the rural community of Jacutinga, Poco Fundo, this year.  Osmar and his family grow exceptional coffee at around 1200m and it is pure joy in a cup so we are roasting it a little lighter and selling it as a special individual origin. 

    This high altitude coffee has a sweet chocolate taste, with a little fruit and hazelnut.

    Keep an eye out for news and updates from farmers and projects in this community.

    BUY NOW

    Jacutinga is also where we have invested in drying tables to further help and improve coffee, in partnership with our friends at Neighbourhood.

    jacutinga (1)

    jacutinga (3)

    jacutinga (2)

  3. Cameroon update - a worsening crisis

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    We had hoped to be out in Cameroon at the end of this year and deepening our relationships with farmers, however that is now not going to be possible.  We hope and pray for a swift and peaceful resolution, for the country and it's people.  When safe and possible we will continue to support Matti and his fellow farmers. 

    This is an extract from an email from Matti in Cameroon: 

    The crisis rapidly turned violent and has taken the country to the brink of civil war. For the past couple of years, the lives of millions of Cameroonians living in the English-speaking regions of the country (where this crisis is unfolding) have been seriously disrupted; thousands have been killed or seriously injured, hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, schools at all levels of education have been closed, villages and towns attacked …

    It is not easy to explain how a seemingly peaceful country like Cameroon can so rapidly be breaking apart...

    For those of you who are concerned about our operations and the production of coffee, please be assured that we have placed, and continue to place the safety of our field associates and farmers as our most important consideration when conducting field operations:
     - In May a military unit on patrol shot at our washing station warehouse at Sho village without warning, hitting a young man in his eye. He lost his eye, but thankfully the bullet did not enter his brain and we are pleased to say that he has since been fitted with a prosthetic eye.
     - In June the dry mill processing our coffee and neighboring homes and business premises were attacked by the military and many properties were burnt down, including the home of one of the young ladies working on our coffee at the mill; 18 of the young ladies were abducted by the military, but released and returned to their town by the District Administrator 
     - Our export of coffee was interrupted for 4 months, but we have finally moved most of our inventory from the conflict areas and have resumed bagging for export.

    I do hope that the Human Rights Watch document will serve as a "wake up call", a reminder that "prevention is better than cure", and that it is not too late for us to add our voices to those saying "NO" to violence and disrespect of the rights and dignity of any human being.

    Peace and kind regards
    Matti Foncha