The past 15 days in Ethiopia were quite an impression. which I won´t want to miss as part of my life experience. The people are one of their kind and always open about their lives, as they talk about what they do or at least show. I met aherdsboy while hiking in the south of Gonder in almost 3000m of altitude. He reminded me of the “Caldi”, who following the legend, was the one to bring home the coffee beans. His goats were eating them and leading him to the secret of the beans.
While being in Ethiopia I also visited the coffee plantations in the Jimma region. Thanks to the help of Carl Cervone from Technoserve and his team, we were able to get insights and in contact with the coffee farmers. We visited them in the fields and were impressed by the daily challenges they face to get in touch with local markets,
Later, back in Germany the whole coffee-story is unfolded even more. It´s time to find new approaches of global trade to tackle the challenges of imperfect markets. Especially the coffee market is a perfect example. How can local businesses grow and thus strengthen the communities? How can they improve their own lives through trade? And how should investments be handled? Rising awareness works both ways. Not only the consumer, but also the farmer can learn and improve their way of investing.
Maybe it is even time to rewrite my diploma thesis from 2007 on the Marketing and Monitoring of Fairtrade.
I have published an essay accompanied by a photo documentary from my trip to Ethiopia in September 2011.
It has been published in the german magazine UNPLAQUED in their issue dedicated to “Truth”.
(Die Selbstverständlichkeit des Kaffees, published in UNPLAQUED #19) or read the essay here online.
Here are some more photos from Ethiopia.[flickr_set id=”72157627952017420″]