Traceable, Single Origin Coffee-Meru County!
Summer 2014, I traveled from the US to Kenya to visit my family. Catching a ride with a cousin, we had somehow found ourselves talking about coffee. He wondered if I still had the passion for helping the small scale coffee farmers in the village. I remember telling him coffee business is complicated, required high starting capital and "big connections" to get started. He mentioned he wanted me to meet Mr. Meme, a manager of a small scale farm in a neighboring town. He made a quick phone call, and there we were pulling up Mr. Meme's driveway. Mr. Meme's dog was apprehensive of our short notice and barked as if he needed to teach us some "etiquette skills".
Mr. Meme was very welcoming, offering us sugarcane, bananas, and pineapples on the way to the coffee farm. His unpretentious generosity oozed out as he showed off his vibrant coffee plants.
"I use organic manure; we just got done pruning, and are looking forward to a good harvest season," Mr. Meme said proudly. He wondered if I could take some pictures and show them to an American, hoping to interest them in the product that is his life's work. "I am open to learning new farming methods to improve the quality. I hear Americans like coffee-please talk to somebody, I have a strong conviction one of them will be interested" His plea moved me!
Mr. Meme evoked a childhood dream, a passion to work in the coffee industry and help the small scale coffee farmers in Meru. I realized I needed to be more proactive and stop making excuses. I needed to get down in the trenches and get my elbows dirty. Mr. Meme was doing his part, I needed to get back to America, share his story and show his picture to an American!.
Since September 2014, I have been striving to get Mr. Meme's and the Meru coffee farmers superior product promoted in the American market.