Gumutindo Sustainability Project

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | Tags: ,

Matthew Algie recently secured substantial financial backing through the Fair Development Fund (FDF) - a unique fund run by Comic Relief and Sainsbury's - to sustainably grow the Ugandan coffee industry.  The Gumutindo Sustainability Project is a collaborative project that aims to improve coffee quality and farming practices for the benefit of local communities.

Working with Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Eastern Uganda and ethical trading organisation, Twin, which will offer on-the-ground support, we will assist farmers in the Mount Elgon region adopt environmentally sustainable practices and become triple certified. Not only will this initiative support climate adaptation, but it will increase capacity and improve coffee quality - enabling more coffee to be sold at better prices. Particular emphasis will also be placed on training female farmers to improve gender equality in the region.

Gumutindo Co-op

We want to use our expertise to support the implementation of change across the board.  From simple enhancements such as improved harvesting and coffee cherry processing that will develop the quality of the coffee, right down to buying and roasting the coffee - with a view to Sainsbury's cafés brewing it for their customers - we are looking forward to working with farmers on this exciting new project. If Gumutindo can put the best agricultural practices in place we can, in turn, ensure higher yields and improve cup quality, whilst at the same time improving sustainability through climate change adaptation.

Gumutindo marketing

Willington Wamayeye, General Manager of Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative, knows that the initiative will help improve the lives of farmers and their communities.  As he puts it, "we are ready to shake mountains". Sainsbury's, meanwhile, will also update all the coffee served in their cafés to include Gumutindo coffee.

"Deforestation and devastating landslides are triggering soil erosion on small farms scattered across the foothills of Mount Elgon," says Xavier Hamon, Twin's Climate and Environment Project Officer.  "To tackle this, we'll be working to strengthen the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative and provide training in areas such as shade management and soil and water conservation."

Gumutindo landscape

To stay updated, find us on Twitter:
@matthew_algie | #shakethemountain
or @gumutindo  | @twinfairtrade | @sainsburys | @comicrelief

and Facebook:www.facebook.com/weknowcoffee

About Sainsbury's Fair Development Fund
Sainsbury's Fair Development Fund is a unique fund run by Comic Relief and financed by Sainsbury's, it aims to create a broader and more collaborative way of supporting Fairtrade. This helps get more products on our shelves from smallholder farmers in developing countries.

About Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative, Uganda
Gumutindo is an organisation of smallholder coffee farmers who produce washed arabica coffee for the specialty coffee market. The cooperative's strategic objective is to mobilise more men, women and youth to grow coffee as a business from which to generate income for good housing, health, education, clean water and energy - while conserving nature.

About Twin
Twin is an ethical trading organisation working with over 30 producer organisations representing 300,000 coffee, cocoa and nut producers in 16 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Twin works in three main product categories - coffee, cocoa, and nuts - and partners with likeminded businesses in Europe, Asia and the USA to grow the market for ethically sourced products. For more, visit www.twin.org.uk .

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