Meeting with Matti Foncha, Gloucester UK, March 2019
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.