Ok, firstly a quick warning. During the reading of this blog you may hear violins playing quietly in the background, you may even hear the laboured panting and shuffling as a certain middle aged gentlemen mounts his soapbox!
It will come as no surprise to any of you loyal readers that I’m a little bit passionate about our involvement in Bali. Bali is an island in crisis with enormous pressure on its delicate environment and inadequate infrastructure from the hordes of tourists flocking there every year.
For anyone prepared to leave the tourist hotspots along the south coast and head out into rural Bali you will soon see that this island is a very special place. Ghandi called it ‘the morning of the world’ and it can have a powerful impact on those ready to tune into its frequency. As a business we wanted to make sure we gave something back to this amazing little island. Our nursery initiative at Tri Karya has seen 6,100 coffee plants go into the ground so far with many more to follow. These plantings and our ongoing support means a struggling community can take control of their own destiny. Improving returns from agricultural activities keeps kids at home in their communities and gives farmers an incentive to keep their land and not sell out to developers. This project will see about 30,000 trees planted in this area, a tidy little carbon offset!
Another project very close to our heart is our support for English lessons at the Ulian Murni primary school. This region provides most of the coffee we import from Bali. Getting the kids some exposure to English at an early age gives them a big head start when they move into the workforce. In an economy dominated by tourism, having a grasp of English increases your job options dramatically. And despite the rather serious faces they actually quite enjoy it! It’s very commonplace these days for specialty coffee companies to talk up their tenuous links with farmers. They often seem to be missing the point that to have ‘Partnership Coffee’ you need to be having a partnership. I’m privileged to say that in Bali we are engaged deeply with a wonderful community of people and the giving flows equally in both directions, truly partnership coffee !!