Meet the Producers

Saturday 3rd March 1012
Follow the Footsteps in Kirkcudbright.
From 4.30 to 6.30pm.
FROM HARBOUR LIGHTS, VIA BRAMBLES TO TESCO AND THE CO-OP.

Justine is treasurer and female representative for her society at Gumutindo Cooperative.
“A normal day begins for me at 5 am when I take out the goats, clean the kitchen, make breakfast for my children and at 7am climb up the mountain to the coffee and banana plantations. It takes an hour on foot. Her I weed, dig, clean, prune coffee and collect manure, there is always so much to do. I come back down in time to prepare lunch and wash before sending my children to school.”
Here are some of the benefits women’s coffee has brought to Justine and her family

  •  She has educated her children
  •  She is the chairperson of women’s group which helps orphans of AIDS and others who live in the village.
  •  Helped build a school and a centre for the orphans.
  •  She has gained power, knowledge and therefore respect amongst members of her family.
  •  There is financial transparency.
  •  She has become aware and now has control of the financial in goings and out goings of her household.
  •  There is now more communication amongst all members of the family
  •  She has set aside land to plant trees to combat climate change and landslides on the Mountain with other local women

Justine believes once you become happy yourself you are then much more likely to be both willing and in a better position to help others. This is the key to the success of the Coffee Grown By Women. Helping the village naturally becomes an extension to your happiness.

The Fairtrade premium is like a miracle to us, it comes directly into our hands. It is an acknowledgement of our work, of what we are capable of and who we are. It is so important to us, thank you!

Being a Fairtrade producer, I benefit a lot; I get a good advance price for my quality coffee, which has enabled me to have my children in school and provide for all basic needs in the home. At the end of the year, I receive second payments and all other societies receive FT premiums which are used for community projects. Normally, when the FT premiums are distributed, members are invited to a general meeting to make a decision on the premium fund use. Apart from the financial benefits, members are trained in farm practices, good agronomy practices, governance, Farming as a business, planning and in gender issues.

Working together has helped us achieve a lot; we have been able to get good deals for our coffee but above all we have established good relations with many people and some of us have had the chance to travel overseas! This would not have been possible if I was working individually. Members of Gumutindo do not worry about lack of market; we know there is a sure market for us as members. There is also no need to sell our coffee to middlemen like it was in the past. This year, the dream of having our processing plant is coming true!

EQUAL EXCHANGE Organic Mt Elgon AA roast & ground coffee or coffee beans are roasted from Jennipher’s coffee beans, and is a very similar Arabica coffee to high quality Kenyan. It is medium roasted and the cup is well balanced with good acidity and delicate lemony citrus notes.

It is recognizable by the label ‘COFFEE GROWN BY WOMEN’ from all good natural food retailers and wholesalers.

Check www.equalexchange.co.uk for more product and producer details, recipes and stockists.