Coffee celebrities? Sure, the coffee industry may have a few hot roasters and baristas, regularly featured in mainstream media and enjoying a respectable following online. But the coffee farmers? The sad fact is, the vast majority of them keep toiling in total anonymity.
We want to change this. Every farmer deserves to be celebrated for the wonderful product they grow for us.
Olive Kishero is that rare exception: A coffee farmer who has been featured a few times in media. Ok, it's not a lot. We can't say she's famous. But at least, she has a few times managed to break out of the seclusion of the coffee garden and enjoyed some moments in the spotlight. For this, we are very happy for her!
We are very proud to add our own contribution. Please read on for our farmer portrait of Olive Kishero - the most devoted coffee farmer on Mt Elgon.
It's the hardest work
Growing quality coffee is tough. It takes a special kind of farmer, with a unique perseverance, who never lets challenges and setbacks pull her down. One who year after year keeps improving, and never falls for temptations of doing shortcuts and pocket some quick money.
Olive Kishero is one of those rare ones.
Growing coffee involves a lot of commitment. It’s the hardest work. You have to use all your energy at every stage.
But the hard work has paid off. Olive came second in the Ugandan Taste of Harvest competition in 2019. When it comes to specialty coffee from Mt Elgon, Olive certainly ranks among the best.
Olive has been in the coffee industry since 1989. Despite the challenges, she has been able to make sure all her seven children have received a higher education.
Since my children were young I have trained them to handle the coffee growing. They used to call this mummy's things. "We are tired of mummy's things" they said.
Meet Olive and some of her children in our video portrait:
Now Olive's main concern is: Who will take over the coffee farming after her...?
We are honoured to offer Olive's coffee to our customers, and glad to contribute to the future of her family through the premium we pay.