Huw with Jenipher Sambazi (coffee farmer and Chair of MEACCE)
A new initiative has been launched by an International Climate Change Coffee Partnership, made up of organisations across Wales and Uganda including Ogmore’s Pontyclun based Ferraris Coffee. (Other members include: Mount Elgon Agroforestry Community Co-operative Enterprise MEACCE; Fair Dos Siopa Teg (Cardiff based Fair Trade shop); Wales Co-operative Centre and Etico – Ethical Coffee Importers).
More than 3,000 Fairtrade farmers in rural Uganda will be supported by the Welsh Government-backed partnership to get them a fair price for their coffee – and help them combat climate change.
The Partnership is the result of nearly 10 years of work, which has seen Fairtrade and organic farmers in Mbale, Uganda, join with Welsh organisations to look at farming, climate change and sustainable trade. It is also supported to buy coffee from producers in Uganda, allowing it to be bought and enjoyed here in Ogmore and across Wales.
Farmers in the Mbale region are suffering from the impact of extreme climate change with droughts, storms and landslides – but are also among those who have contributed to climate change the least. The Partnership wants to ensure that farmers in the region can trade their coffee fairly and build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their communities.
As part of recent Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations at the Senedd, Jenipher Sambazi, a coffee farmer from Uganda and Vice chair of MEACCE, met with members of the Partnership and Assembly Members, including Ogmore AM Huw Irranca-Davies who is also Chair of the National Assembly for Wales Co-operative Group. She spoke about her experiences as a coffee farmer, a woman in leadership, and the impacts of climate change on her local region.
Jenipher Sambazi said: “If we can sell our coffee on Fairtrade terms, we can grow our business so we can do more to adapt to climate change.”
“Fairtrade guarantees a better price for our coffee and the Fairtrade premium will be spent by our community on projects that help us improve our lives.”
MEACCE is one of the 4 partners planting trees with the Size of Wales in Mbale. More than 10 million trees have been planted so far with a target of 25m by 2025.
Jenipher added: “Coffee is very sensitive to even small temperature increases. The trees we are planting with help from Wales provide shade to keep our coffee bushes cool and the quality of our coffee high”
Mr Irranca-Davies AM said: “Approximately 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee production for their livelihoods, however as the most valuable and widely traded tropical agricultural product it is mainly produced by smallholder farmers – some living on as little as 74p per day..
My thanks to Jenipher Sambazi for her inspirational talk about the devastating impacts of climate change on the coffee trade and the work of the Mt Elgon Coffee Cooperative in Uganda. I’m delighted to work with and support the Fairtrade movement to help put a stop to unfair conditions for essential farmers and workers worldwide.
Wales has a proud tradition of championing the Fair-Trade movement, which strives to give a greater voice to farmers and workers in the developing world and I’m delighted to see local stores across Ogmore supporting Fairtrade branded goods.”