Feb 28, 2021
Saturday morning 4am my journey began first taking the taxi to the train station in Munich followed by a 4h train ride to Frankfurt airport to meet Lukas (one of the roasters I joined for this trip). After an 8h flight we arrived in Nairobi and stayed in a hotel close to the airport as our flight to Kisumu was scheduled for 8am the next morning.
As you can see the weather was not the best (in fact it was raining cats and dogs so that the crew was providing each passenger with a rain coat).
Kisumu is a port city on Lake Victoria in western Kenya around 1h flight from Nairobi. From Kisumu we took a 9-seater bus to drive to our stay for the next 4 days in Tinderet, Nandi County. We stayed at Crossroads in Tinderet – which was founded in 2009.
The idea behind the Crossroads project struck a chord with me as it has so much in common with my idea of Ulinzi Conservation Coffee and the values I want to represent.
The overall objective of the project "Rehabilitation Program for Young People in Songhor” is to return the former inmates to society with a healthy attitude towards living. The idea is to re-integrate them by educating them on farming. The project offers them suitable employment on Crossroads 70ha farm to apply their obtained skills on the ground to sustain themselves and to transition into the community.
In 2014, the pilot project "Coffee Cultivation" started on the farm, after sugar cane, corn and other agricultural products were marketed in a slightly lucrative way. At the end of 2016, the first coffee yields were harvested. Wertkaffee GmbH imports raw coffee directly and guarantees sustainable value-chain fair selling price. With every package sold off one coffee seedling is sponsored to the project.
The project was the reason why I decided to work together with Chris from Mehrwert Kaffee/Wertkaffee GmbH in the first place. Chris is also the organizer of this trip.
The next blog post will be about our visit to Kiptebes Society and the steps from coffee cherry picking, to the drying process.