It wasn’t that many years ago that Australian troops were keeping the peace in East Timor, a former Portuguese colony situated just north of Australia.
While stationed there in 2012, a group of Australian soldiers came to know farmers that harvest the coffee that has grown wild in the 30 years since the Indonesian invasion. They promised that they would come back after their service was over, and help the farmers get better prices for their coffee, bypass local middlemen, and export directly into the lucrative Australian market.
The organisation they established is called Wild Timor Coffee, and they have succeeded in creating a model that allows Australians to enjoy organic Timor coffee, while the farmers receive more money, the village is employed in processing, and the profits are invested in capacity building. As part of a series I am producing for AidWorks, I spoke with Shannon French, a Director of Wild Timor Coffee, about the organisation and it’s model:
As before, I am unable to embed audio in the email blast. You can take a listen at Soundcloud.