Coffee for a Cause
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
Last week was #worldgorilladay and today is #internationalcoffeeday, and I find myself surprised how these connections with the circle of coffee is coming full swing back into my life. A complete cycle of 7 years since I was working with coffee farmers in Managalas Plateau Papua New Guinea, where we built a distribution value-chain with 2,345 farmers that we got certified organic and rainforest alliance certified. Without the benefits of power, water, communications and zero assistance from government, NGO or finance institutions, it was simply by pure grit and purpose driven vision that we achieved what we did – exporting both coffee and chillies to the global marketplace as far as Germany, India and the US.
And sometimes in life when you push boundaries, you experience that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Unfortunately, greed and corruption by individuals cut short the business momentum. An attempt on our lives brought financial ruin to us and deprived the farmers and families of a major benefit they were experiencing – sustainable livelihood whilst living in harmony in their homes and habitat – a balance of their earth and spirit.
Seven years and many life lessons later, Updike’s wisdom “Few of us have the heart to follow the circle to the end” resonates with a different rhythm in another country, this time Uganda, where I had the awesome experience of getting up close and personal with the Nkuringo family group of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest! Check out the video here: https://vimeo.com/359403900
Rugaya and Claudine with Gorilla Highlands Coffee Association were my companions, and now the familiar cycle of farmers, plants and beans are pulling me back towards the coffee culture and working with them to strengthen their homes, hearts and habitats.
It’s a perfect day to find your favourite brew, relax and acknowledge all the coffee farmers in the world that work so hard to bring us our coffee – thanks to them we can celebrate International Coffee Day.