Food, Environment, Agriculture
I'm a social entrepreneur. I roast "specialty coffee" from direct trade with farmers at GreenbizzBrussels. This allows us to have fair, natural and high-quality coffee in Brussels.
I need your help to:
Invest in the Cameroon Boyo project. (small-holder family farms collective in Cameroon)
25% of the crowdfunding will go to the CAMEROON BOYO project.
We drink 2 billion cups a day on our planet. For us, it is our morning ritual, our fuel to work, our source of heat in winter. But for farmers’ children coffee is much more: it is education, it is medicine when they are sick, food on the table, …. Coffee is the difference between poverty and enrichment. And progress is only possible when farmers have a quality crop and a decent place to sell it.
And that’s where I want to come in. I think coffee has the power to write a new story. It transforms a life of survival into a life of opportunity, a life of hope, a life of legacy. With coffee, we have the power to change the lives of future generations.
And that’s the story I want to co-write. Will you join me?
Producers are the heart of what makes great coffee.
Their skills, expertise and craftsmanship is the difference between mediocre coffee and coffee that is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. We rely on the producers for that pristine bean:
- The producers grow the coffee trees.
- They pick the cherry when it is perfectly ripe.
- They remove the outer fruit, leaving just the bean covered in a thin parchment.
- They rest the beans, let the beans develop into their full selves.
The overall objective of direct trade is to eliminate the power imbalances that exist in traditional supply chains. Farmers getting a lower price than they deserve. To counter this, direct trade is an approach taken to build mutually beneficial and respectful relationships between businesses and producers, by fairly distributing benefits and involving producers in decision making processes.
1) Some farmers only manage to produce 250kg per hectare, when the yield could reach 2000kg. Low productivity puts the survival of the coffee production at risk
2) Both pre-harvest and post-harvest practices fail to improve the quality of the coffee plants.
3) No central processing unit for the coffee beans, leading to inconsistent quality. Each farmer processes the coffee on their own farm (farm-washed coffee) which produces a coffee supply of varying quality.
Worldwide, one of the clearest self-identified issues facing producers of coffee is the low and unpredictable price they can sell raw coffee for. A lack of control as to what the market price will be once the harvest is complete is disempowering. The common market price falls below the cost of production at times.
One growing possible solution to low and tumultuous prices is the specialty coffee market, where roasters are happy to pay fixed prices for high-quality coffee with specific flavour characteristics, season on season, regardless of what the commodity market price swings to. In this scenario farmers can have some control over the price they are paid, as the price rises with the quality produced.
1) We want to improve productivity by planting new coffee trees. The most suitable coffee varieties are grown in tree nurseries and distributed to the farmers.
2) We introduce Good Agricultural Practices that aim to reduce the negative effects on the environment (soil, water, pesticides, etc.).
3) For fertilization, local compost based on coffee pulp and other ingredients is used
4) We set up a coffee lab to transfer knowledge about increasing production from farmer to farmer.
5) Building a micro washing station. The project will pilot the use of micro-washing stations which enable farmers to process coffee closer to where it is grown, as well as receive better market prices than selling the raw fruit.
That’s the story.
Will you co-write this story?
Join this new Coffee Community in Brussels - Bamenda
Do you need more info about the rewards? CLICK HERE
My wife and I have invested all our savings in the project since October 2015:
1) Installation of electricity, gas and water in the workshop,
2) Installation of furniture in the workshop,
3) Probat Roasting Machine,
4) Espresso Machine La Marzocco,
5) Espresso Grinder Mahlkönig,
6) Bulk Grinder Mahlkönig,
7) Small equipment (scales, kettles, coffee makers ...),
9) 1 tonne of green beans from several farms: Brazil - Fazenda Rainha da Paz Nicaragua - Finca La Argentina Tanzania - Tweega AA Cameroon - Boyo Project
10) Cash for the first months of rent of the workshop,
Now that everything is in place and operational since April 2016, we want to continue the adventure and initiate "the next step".
To be able to pay our farmers a premium price but especially in time and hour to avoid them problems of "cash flow".
Ultimately, we want to set-up a system where we pay farmers in three stages: before harvest, during harvest and after harvest. This is why we ask you to participate and collaborate in our project through this crowdfunding campaign.
As said above 25% will be invested in the Cameroon Boyo the other part will be invested in Mamé Noka.
It will also be used to:
- pay the service of KissKissBankBank [5%]
- pay the transaction costs [3%]
- pay the VAT of each reward [6% or 21%]
- pay your rewards
The rest will be funds that I will use for:
- a stock of green beans
- additional machines
- coffee bicycle
The micro washing station will be used by the producers to wash the ripened coffee cherries and remove the outer layers so that the beans inside can be dried on drying tables in the sun. This process is no different from that used for decades by the coffee growers to produce parchment coffee beans, except that the micro washing stations will do the job better and work much faster – and consequently produce a significant improvement in coffee quality.
Sorting, pulping, fermentation, washing, and drying are key steps in maintaining or developing flavours in coffee. There are many aspects to be controlled or manipulated throughout this processing that is very difficult to achieve without financial investment, time, and knowledge. The old ways were so poor that even the highest quality cherries could be reduced to the lowest grade coffee beans. But until now there has been no alternative to the old ways.
There is also a real possibility that the improvement in quality will elevate Boyo to become some of the best quality coffee in the world. This will of course take time and involve more than the installation of washing stations. The growers will also have to improve their cultivation techniques and we will need to speed up the buying and processing cycle. But at least they have an inherently high quality product. The direct trade model results in more money for the farmers, and better quality coffee for the consumers. Helping individual farmers improve their sustainable farming practices wouldn’t be possible through the alternative, fair trade model, which doesn’t allow for individual transactions, and often results in lesser-quality coffee.
We want to improve productivity by planting new coffee trees. The most suitable coffee varieties are grown in tree nurseries and distributed to the farmers.
The micro washing station will be used by the producers to wash the ripened coffee cherries and remove the outer layers so that the beans inside can be dried on drying tables in the sun.
Unfortunately the reality of a start-up company can be hard. If I want my project to sustain and therefore keeping a collaborative trade relation with the Cameroon Boyo Farmers I need a sufficient amount of treasury to sustain and develop a team. (investing in Stock of green beans, additional machines, hire people,...)
Otherwise all efforts will be in vain...
THE ICING ON THE CAKE... :)
Why a Mobile Espresso Bar?
1) We do not yet have enough visibility in Brussels for Mamé Noka and the Cameroon Boyo Coffee, because we only have a production workshop and no bar,
2) You will have good coffee, just invite us to the right "spot"!
3) This will make one car less in traffic jams,
4) The reduction of our ecological footprint is one of the objectives of Mamé Noka,
5) Our barista will be in great shape! And a Barista means creating a job in Brussels.
6) Admit that you too, you want to ride with this bicycle?!
7) I will borrow it willingly for holidays with my small family ... :)