From Greek and Roman times, stories have been told of the mythical Mountains of the Moon as the source of the river Nile. For a long time they eluded European explorers, who failed to find them due to them being shrouded in the clouds.
Today the majestic mountain range is known as Rwenzori - meaning "Rainmaker". Stretching along the border between Uganda and DR Congo, with the highest peak, Mt Margherita at 5.109 MASL with its permanent glaciers almost perfectly at the line of the Equator.
Biira and Ephraim
On the slopes of this majestic mountain lives Biira and her husband Ephraim with their three children. On one acre of land they have planted 450 coffee trees, intercropped with banana and other indigenous trees for shade.
A surprising fact about their farm is the altitude: at only 1.250 meters, it would normally be considered too low for quality arabica, which usually comes from higher altitudes. But thanks to the cold air coming down from the mountain, and combined with ideal soil and a farmer dedicated to quality, Biira's coffee is a revelation.
Meet Biira and Ephraim in our video, and hear how they describe the reason for their coffee's unique taste:
Wild is proud to offer their coffee from the Mountains of the Moon.
In addition to growing coffee, Biira is weaving some beautiful baskets:
Ephraim is a teacher at the school across the road from their farm. When visiting his school, we noticed a plaque on the wall, saying: Constructed by Save the Children Norway with funding from TK Maxx and The Community.
This made me think about the Wild Mission, and how we hope we can contribute to a better future for Uganda and its neighbouring countries. While the willingness to help people in need is one of mankind's finest qualities, and a solid education being one of the most important tasks to secure the future for Ugandan children, we belive the only sustainable way forward is to move from charity and aid, to business and trade. Only by building an economy on the labour and products of its people and resources can a country be able to form a strong, prosperous and secure future where poverty will be a thing of the past.
We strongly believe the time for this to happen is now.
On that note, here is the data of our coffee purchase from Biira and Ephraim.
Coffee purchase data, Biira Zirian:
Harvested: September - October 2018
Date purchased: 21.10.2018
Amount purchased: 967 kg Drugar (Natural) Arabica
Weight after milling: 506 kg green bean (FAQ)
Base price: 7.000 UGX per kg;
Total cost: UGX 3.542.000
Bonus added: UGX 885.500
Regarding the Wild premium: We initially pay a 25% premium on all coffee we purchase (to be able to keep a competitive price in the local Ugandan market). On coffee exported, an additional bonus is added. The amount will depend on the difference between the price paid and the current commodity market price. Our goal is to offer a total payment at least 100% above the commodity market price. This bonus is transferred to the farmer when the coffee is exported.
Coffee from the Mountains of the Moon, courtesy of Biira and Ephraim. Enjoy!
Do you love mountain hiking? For the experience of a lifetime: Climb the Rwenzori!
I did the hike to the peak; Mt Margerita, in 2011. It's one of the most amazing outdoor experience I've ever had. The nature and scenery is out of this world - it feels like walking in the world of The Lord of the Rings or Jurassic Park. And climbing the snow capped peak practically at the Equator, surrounded by lush rainforest and savannah sprawling with wildlife, is pure magic.
Check out this article from The Guardian describing the hike.
Here's the film from our hike: