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Category: Good stuff we do

  1. Travel Report...

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    Here's the latest from EA - a travel report from our latest trip to East Africa

    You can donwload/view a higher resolution pdf version here

    It really was an excellent trip and very encouraging on many levels. The most telling comment came form one of the farm managers one evening as we talked about trade and aid. We talked about the historical aid situation in Africa whereby an enormous amount of money has been spent on loans and charity, whilst simultaneously abusing the same countries in the way we trade with them. "Lots of money has been spent on projects, but no good price has ben paid for coffee. If people would just pay well, trade well, and make long-term commitments to relationships, then let producers take care of themselves, their own school fees, their own housing and so on."

    There is so much truth in this and whilst it is often more complex, and initially needs a partnership of trade and aid together, there can be no doubt that a long-term sustainable route out of poverty has to be through trade and development (but done well, and done fairly).

    There's more pictures from our trip on the photos page

  2. We're back! News from Orera, Kilimanjaro

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    Following our visit to the Orera village in December I want to share the following updates and some photos (even more photos on the photo pages):

    orera coffee drying
    The harvest was early and so most of the picking was done. All the beans were in the final days of drying before going to the mill and then being packed to send to us in the UK. 

    signing for payment
    We made some pre-payments on the crop which is essential for smallholders given they often have no other sources of income, and no lines of credit like big companies. The money helped them to pay for food for Christmas and for education fees due early in the new year. 

    We looked around the vilage and met with the kids, taking gifts and playing silly games. We sat through long meetings and then one-by-one paid each smallholder and had them sign for their reciept which is such a huge leap forward in transparency and avoids dispute and corruption (even if it is a long process!) See the list of signatures here.

    There was further encouragement with progress on tree-planting by the Community Club and a new bee project. The land that was jointly purchased for pulpery and processing is now finalised and ready for the building of a store house which EA were able to make a donation towards construction.

    Great trip, and encouraging to see the real difference we get to make. The work we do is a priviledge and we've returned thankful for the customers we have who make it all possible.