Celebrating our 1st birthday at Borough Market: small steps to a big difference
March 2, 2017
Today we celebrate the first birthday of our stall at Borough Market. And what a fantastic year it has been! We´ve met some amazing people, made some great friends, and been able to share our story with coffee lovers across London. We´ve also started to play our own small part in making a big difference to the lives of coffee farmers in Colombia...
You may have read that Colombia has recently come to the end of over 50 years of civil war, and the government has signed a peace deal with the Farc guerrilla group. That´s great news, but it is also the first step on a long and difficult road to lasting peace and reconciliation. One of the major points of the deal is land reform, and how to help the 4 million people who were displaced from their homes for many years and would now like to go back.
How to support people who have lost everything to go back to their lands and start farming crops like coffee? That requires some time and investment, rather than fall into the understandable trap of farming quick and cash-ready crops such as coca. We have been working with the Unit for the Restitution of Land, a government project run by the Department of Agriculture, to work out how to support people to invest in high-quality coffee varieties that - though they might be a bit more difficult at first - will in the end yield better and more sustainable results.
To this end, we have committed to support 122 families in the Tablón de Gomez mountains in Nariño, south of the country. We have visited the area and met the farmers, advising them on issues of taste and variety, as well as some modern coffee post-process techniques that can help increase their gradings in international markets. Nariño is a perfect area for growing coffee, set at a high altitude, with the right humidity and rich soils. The coffees the farms are producing are giving some amazing notes, with just the right acidity and some hints of passion fruit. They are certainly proving a hit with our regulars at the market!
So, today we want to say a big GRACIAS to Borough Market and all the coffee lovers we meet there. It´s been a wonderful year, together we are making a real difference!