More than 3,000 Fairtrade farmers in rural Uganda will be supported by a Welsh Government-backed partnership to get them a fair price for their coffee – and help them combat climate change.
A new initiative has been launched by an international Climate Change Coffee Partnership, made up of organisations in both Wales and Uganda.
The Welsh Government will support the Partnership to buy coffee from producers in Uganda, allowing it to be bought, brewed and enjoyed here.
The Partnership is the result of nearly 10 years of work, which has seen Fairtrade and organic farmers in Mbale, Uganda, join with Welsh organisations to look at farming, climate change and sustainable trade.
Farmers in the Mbale region are suffering from the impact of extreme climate change with droughts, storms and landslides – but are also among those who have contributed to climate change the least.
The Partnership wants to ensure that farmers in the region are able to trade their coffee fairly and build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their communities – as well as building their capacity to the point where they can help in the fight against climate change - while the people of Wales can access high-quality, Fairtrade and Organic certified coffee.
The Welsh Government’s support was announced by Eluned Morgan, the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, in a launch event for the Partnership at the Senedd with Jenipher Sambazi, a coffee farmer and Vice Chair of MEACCE.
The minister said:
“We’re very excited about this partnership that will see people who grow beautiful coffee paid a fair price.
Climate change has been devastating for farmers in Uganda despite the fact they contribute little towards emissions.
“Wales has a long standing partnership with Mbale and we want to help wherever we can to give those communities dealing with the climate emergency on the ground the support they need by trading with them on Fairtrade terms.”
“This is also an excellent example of how coffee drinkers here in Wales can make a real difference to the lives of people that grow their coffee”
Jenipher Sambazi said:
“If we can sell our coffee on Fairtrade terms, we can grow our business so we can do more to adapt to climate change.”
“Fairtrade guarantees a better price for our coffee and the Fairtrade premium will be spent by our community on projects that help us improve our lives”
MEACCE is one of the 4 partners planting trees with the Size of Wales in Mbale. More than 10 million trees have been planted so far with a target of 25m by 2025.
“Coffee is very sensitive to even small temperature increases. The trees we are planting with help from Wales provide shade to keep our coffee bushes cool and the quality of our coffee high”
The minister added:
“Each of the partners involved in this effort is well-placed to ensure it is a success, but we want to play our part as Welsh Government to help where can, as the goals of the Partnership aligns well with those outlined in our International Strategy, and the Well-being of Future Generations Act.”