I was born and raised on a Coffee plantation. I saw first hand how hard it is to grow and cultivate coffee trees, as I watched my father work himself into an early grave. I have also witnessed first hand the difference in incomes and status between the Coffee growers and the Coffee traders. I know the latter have zero understanding of the human cost of the Coffee that enables their lavish lifestyles. Most would not recognise a sapling if it appeared in their plush offices, and probably wouldn’t care that they didn’t know...
I have so many unanswered questions, the biggest of which is simply why? Why does not the coffee industry do more for the people that make it possible: the peasant farmers throughout the Third World? These are the people without whom the industry would not exist, but who barely make enough to feed their families, while traders amass vast fortunes at their expense. I figured that if I cannot (at least for now) beat these people, I should and must join them, and do what I can to help from within.
I am also aware of some of the global efforts that have been under way in an attempt to redress the balance in some way: initiatives such as the Fairtrade Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance, IDH (the sustainable trade initiative), or the World Coffee Research and the Global Coffee Platform. Their progress has been, and remains painfully slow, but it is progress nevertheless.
For our part, we’re working with Project Waterfall, because without water, there can be no life, human or plant. From clean water will flow healthier lives, stronger trees and better Coffee. I also promised to rebuild both the school that collapsed decades ago, and the road leading to it in my native mud hut village in West Africa.
Every time you buy from us, you become part of that endeavour. Together, we will make it happen.