05:00PM, Thursday 02 July 2020
A Holyport woman passionate about coffee has begun distributing a product from Uganda which supports local farmers and protects endangered mountain gorillas.
Vicky Weddell, 45, who lives in Moneyrow Green, founded her business Moneyrow Beans in September last year after returning from Dubai where she worked for a coffee company.
The mum-of-two started out by roasting small batches of coffee in the garden shed and now supplies and delivers her freshly roasted beans to local homes and businesses.
The coffee enthusiast found out about Gorilla Conservation Coffee (GCC) through fellow businesswoman, Melanie Perry, and began selling it in May.
Melanie attended a Media Hub event at the Bel and the Dragon in High Street, Cookham, in November where Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka was the guest speaker.
Dr Gladys is one of Uganda's leading gorilla vets and founder of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), which promotes conservation by enabling people, gorillas and livestock to co-exist.
She launched Gorilla Conservation Coffee (GCC) after visiting farmers living adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in Uganda, which is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
Here Dr Gladys learned that the farmers were not being given a fair price for their coffee and were struggling to survive, forcing them to use the park for food, fuel wood and other resources.
GCC buys coffee from 500 coffee farmers living next to Bwindi above the market price and trains them in sustainable coffee farming and processing.
The non-profit NGO (non-government organisation) also helps farmers by processing, roasting and packing the coffee before selling it in more than 60 outlets around the world.
As someone ‘passionate about good coffee and the communities of people involved in coffee’ Vicky said she is ‘very happy to be a part of this coffee story’.
“This enterprise not only supports the farmers but also protects the mountain gorillas.
“I wanted to help bring this coffee to the UK, to help the project and to give people in the UK a way of supporting Dr Gladys’ work,” she said.
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