This is a wonderfull place! We just arrived in Nyeri today, which has the most fantastic view of Mount Kenya.
On the way to Nyeri we visited Ndaroini Coop and I brought back their coffee in one of our bags. This is one of the greatest experiences for me as a roaster to bring the coffee back to where it came from – To meet the people that has created the coffee that we appreciate this much and to show them how we try to take care of their product!
Getting this personal contact is one of the two legs of our Direct Trade model. The other leg is the direct payment. Which in the case of Kenya (and the coffees we look for here) will go to the Coop. When you sit down and talk to the Producers they are (of course) very eager to get higher prices and we try to tell them that this is exactly why we do Direct Trade – to be able to pay a premium price directly to the producer. But we also make it clear that we pay for the cup quality and we need to taste some very good lots before we can pay good prices – we are not willing to pay significantly higher prices than Fair Trades minimum price out of charity but because we get the quality that our costumers are willing to pay a premium price for.
We have already cupped a lot of coffees in Nairobi and had some very good and constructive talks there about the more technical sides of Direct Trade and the possibilties here. Tomorrow we will be cupping more of the coffees up here and visit a few more coops – can’t wait!
To kill the waiting time I think I will go and have a beer with my wonderfull colleagues and fellow travellers Tim W. and Thompson Owen (Sweet Maria’s).
Will be back!