The story of the Happy Coffee Bean
Our coffee story begins in 2008 amongst the mud hut villages of Amuru, Northern Uganda just after the 20 year war with The Lords Resistance Army ended. Our charity – Seeds for Development – was working with farmers as they rebuilt their lives after the war. In 2012, we planted 28,000 Robusta coffee seeds and launched our pilot project to grow coffee on a commercial scale for the first time in the region.
That’s when we learnt that people mainly drink Arabica. We were growing the wrong coffee!
Fortunately, over the hills in the West Nile region, more Seeds for Development farmers were growing Arabica. Our challenge was that they needed help to organise themselves into groups and have a co-operative system to sell it.
Back in the UK, demand was growing. We had shared our story and people wanted our coffee. The hunt was on for the right partner, who shared our values of trust, transparency and traceability, to supply us with Arabica whilst we support the West Nile farmers as they get organised. It took a while, but finally nestled in the foothills of The Mountains of the Moon in Western Uganda, we found Bukonzo Joint; a wonderful co-operative of happy coffee farmers growing delicious organic coffee.
We now have the pleasure of selling their coffee whilst helping develop vibrant and sustainable communities in Amuru and West Nile.