Hello and welcome to Thanet Fairtrade Initiative.
We're dedicated to raising awareness of Fairtrade and promoting the use of ethical products on the Isle of Thanet in Kent.
Nina lives in Santa Anita la Unión - a coffee and banana plantation in Guatemala. Creative Commons picture by withonef on Flickr.
Mahyani is the Secretary of Arinagata Co-operative in Sumatra, Indonesia where they grow speciality arabica coffee beans and was accompanied on the visit to Margate by Wardah a translator and Heather Nicholson from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Married with two sons and a daughter, Mahvani lives in the Gayo Highlands of Sumatra which is 1600 metres above sea level. The Arinagata Co-operative has 2582 members & 12 board members & staff and in 2008 it was certified Fairtrade.
Fairtrade means that they receive a fair price for their coffee beans, and the premium means that they have been able to set up a field school. In 2009 they also used the premium to connect up some of the farmer’s homes to electricity, which meant that the farmer’s children have had more time to study in the evenings and since then some have been able to go on to further education or university.
The challenges that the co-operative face include climate change which has reduced their crop yield by 50% and of that only 35% of the total product that they produce is sold under Fairtrade terms.
The arabica coffee that the co-operative produce has notes of caramel, walnut, floral, white grapes, brown sugar & vanilla. Most of their coffee is sold in America, & they are hoping to expand to Canada.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about how the coffee is grown is welcome to visit the co-operative. Some of their American customers already do.
In the UK, Grumpy Mule produces a Fairtrade coffee made with Sumatran coffee beans from the Gayo Highlands which is the region that Mahyani lives in. This is available on the Grumpy Mule website also in Oxfam stores;
Sumatran coffee can also be found in Waitrose & Sainsburys.
Mahyani finished her visit by saying ‘Terimah Kasih’ which is thank you in Indonesian.
Many thanks to everyone who was part of organising & taking part in the visit. It really is inspiring to meet a producer in person and to hear first-hand about how Fairtrade has impacted their life and their community for the better. Here is the interview with Mahyana talking about the difference that Fairtrade has made to her community;
Thank you to all for supporting & promoting Fairtrade so that more people can be helped.