Thursday, 1 July 2010

Hannah Harris in Nairobi - Visit to Kaliluni Farmers Coop Society Ltd [Fairtrade certified for coffee]

 A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go on a field trip with Amos, the AFN regional co-ordinator for Eastern Africa. Kaliluni is a very small coffee co-operative located just outside of Machakos, a town about 2 hours from Nairobi. We got terribly lost trying to find it, being hidden deep in the hillside, but the view once we found it was well worth the wait.

We were lucky enough to arrive just as all the coffee was being delivered. Streams and streams of people carrying red cherries in sacks on their backs kept walking past us. The place was brimming with people sorting, washing and weighing their coffee cherries; an amazing sight. Amos and I had a tour of the facility before heading into a meeting to discuss Fairtrade and AFN issues. A good opportunity for me to practise my Kiswahili (I followed a little of what they talked about, but they were kind enough to stop now and again and summarise in English for me!). Great that AFN have local staff on the ground able to use relevant languages when meeting producers. A key challenge facing this small co-operative is the lack of any electricity at the main processing site or within the surrounding communities. This is something they hope to be able to invest in should Fairtrade premium funds permit. Fairtrade premiums have so far been used to provide piped water to the central facility. More info about this co-operative will be displayed on the AFN website; we’re still set to launch this in July, keep looking out for it!

Amos with the General Manager and Assistant General Manager of Kaliluni

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