Life is physical as a coffee grower.
We partner with Gerald from Gorilla Summit Coffee. They partner with just over 2000 coffee growers in Kanungu a small province of West Uganda, Africa.
Gorilla Summit Coffee is focused on educating the growers how to grow high quality coffee and then promising them a high price, when that quality is achieved.
Above and beyond this, Gerald invests in initiatives designed to help his community.
- Solar panels for coffee growers houses.
- Education for children.
- Mosquito nets for coffee growers families – when people start affording their own mozzie nets, then lives start to change.
- Maternity clinics in their remote area.
Last time we were in Uganda, Gerald took us for a walk into the bush to see one of the growers he works with.
The Kanungu region is super mountainous, with amazing valleys and peaks everywhere. It remined me of the Waitakere’s, lush and green, but at the same altitude as Mt Ruapehu (over 2000 metres above sea level)
We walked for about 45 mins along a track carved into the side of one of these peaks, alternating between carrying our children and them running ahead with the local kids. We then turned right down a steep little track that came out on a beautiful clearing, overlooking the valley.
The clearing was full of coffee trees, with a mix of bright red coffee cherries ready for picking, and green immature ones that need to be left to ripen.
In amongst the coffee trees was a small mud hut. This was the home of Anthony and his family. He has a plot of about 150 coffee trees.
When Gerald started working with Anthony, this mud hut was home to Anthony, his wife, his sister in-law and 6 children. 4 of these children are his, the other 2 are his brothers who passed away recently. They took in these children, along with their mother.
Perched on the side of this ridge, there is no running water, so each day they make the trek down to the bottom of the valley to the river to carry water back. Approx 3km round trip that is significantly heavier on the way up. It is a job to carry water for 9 humans daily needs.
The hut has an amazing view, but life is physical.
Every parent wants the best for their children and Anthony was struggling just to make ends meet with the price he got for his coffee, let alone sending his children to school.
Gerald and Gorilla Summit came along side Anthony and started working with him on coffee growing techniques and correct harvesting methods. One tip that has seen amazing results, is being careful to only pick the ripe red cherries, and leave the green ones on the tree to ripen.
These days, not only are his 150 trees producing MORE coffee, the quality has massively increased. The price Gerald pays him is over twice what he was getting previously.
Over and above the price, Gorilla Summit coffee has also been paying for 2 of his children to attend school, which has taken a huge financial burden off this family. They are in the process of installing solar panels on the roof of the hut so that evenings can be more productive and the children can study after dark.
Life is still physical, Once the coffee cherry is picked it needs to be pulped and processed within 12-24 hours. Carrying 20-30kg sacks of coffee cherries up to the collection point at the road is another heavy job. The reality of living in this spot.
Regardless, the future is brighter for this family, Through the simple mindset of actually caring about the guys who grow the product, Gorilla Summit Coffee has doubled this families income, funded children into education and provided light in the evenings for the household. Plus, they are buying exceptional quality coffee which they then sell to us.
Our DIRECT TRADE West Ugandan coffee comes from Anthony, and other growers very similar to him that Gorilla Summit works with.
Change your life with amazing coffee, change theirs too.
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It is available as a single origin