Oh honey, where is thy sting? I shot these in Cerro Negro for fair trade financier Shared Interest.Read More
Post Tagged with: "commodities"
Who knew that growing quality coffee was such a difficult task? In fact, cultivating a quality coffee plot can take an entire generation to perfect. So how do small farmers with limited capital and capacity ever compete in such a market? Are they doomed to sell poor-quality beans (ones that will eventually be used for low-grade instant coffee) for next to nothing, or can they polish their growing practices enough to make a pretty penny selling to the likes of Illy and Starbucks? Lutheran World Relief’s intervention throughout the coffee growing world strengthens small, local coffee cooperatives in a number of ways, to include providing access to finance and processing equipment. In the above video, however, it’s the intervention of the Community Knowledge Worker that is highlighted. These CKWs, who are trained by LWR, move from farm to farm and work up close with small farmers themselves, advising them and[…]Read More
On my whirlwind five-day trip to Uganda last month I managed to cover a lot of ground in both the east and west of the country. Squeezed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, Uganda may look like a dwarf on the map, but it’s actually more than double the size of my home state of Virginia. Combining that with some poor road conditions means it can take 12 hours or more to get from one side to the other. Bukonzo Organic Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU) is a fair trade coffee producer based in the town of Kasese, Uganda. Its coffee farmers, however, grow their crop in the nearby Rwenzori Mountains. Shared Interest invests in BOCU and other fair trade producers around the globe. The Rwenzori Mountains were known to the ancient world as the Mountains of Moon for their snow-capped white peaks. (Sadly there’s little of these[…]Read More
Take a tour of the coffee process as it occurs before it reaches your machine. Your guide, Atandi, is a small farmer in Kenya who tells of the lucrativeness of her new cash crop. Above, boys fish at sunset off the shores of Lake Victoria in Kisumu. Other stills from my time among the coffee growers of Western Kenya:Read More
My most recent video production was shot near Exxon’s oil fields in southern Chad. For women, Chad is one of the most challenging nations in which to live. But in the communities around the southern town of Doba, women are defying the status quo by becoming the leading business people of the area. Thanks to the successes of Africare‘s Initiative for Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs Program (IEEWEP), women are improving the livelihoods of their families and using their excess capital to begin new ventures. Above, women participate in literacy classes outside Doba. While I look back on my time in Chad fondly, there was no shortage of difficulties associated with the making of this video. Chad is the epitome of what most westerners think of Africa: hot, humid, hard to find a good meal, and truckloads of men with big guns that I couldn’t film lest I run the[…]Read More