Direct trade coffee - from war-torn Cameroon to Hackney's Twisted Fork

February 11, 2019

 

A London café owner has built a unique alliance with a trader from Cameroon whose workers risk their lives to export coffee from their war-ravaged country.

 

Richard Clark of The Twisted Fork is one of just a handful of cafes to team up with Matti Foncha – a Cameroon coffee trader on a mission to get a fair price for his farmers and to share his community’s plight with the wider world.

 

The Twisted Fork serves Cameroon Boyo – strong coffee grown in volcanic soil – sold direct from the farmers who brave gun-toting militia to get their coffee to market. And Matti, who divides his time between Cameroon and the UK, is often at the cafe telling his story.

 

Since late 2016 conflict has been raging in Cameroon between the Government and separatist fighters. Around 437,000 people have been displaced, homes burnt, property looted, people injured and kidnapped and hundreds have been killed.

 

 (Matti Foncha outside The Twisted Fork)

 

Richard, whose magic-themed café opened in Stoke Newington High Street in the summer, said: “Matti’s story is incredibly moving. He’s lost friends in the conflict. Supply routes to the ports are regularly blocked as civil strife continues to flare up, and agricultural workers regularly find themselves caught in the crossfire as they make the perilous journey to the ports to export their goods. One of Matti’s workers was shot recently – thankfully he survived.

 

“As a business it would be so much easier and more economic to choose cheaper coffee options but that isn’t leaving a legacy in the world and it isn’t helping the people that really need it.  What Matti is doing is better than Fairtrade – it’s direct trade and that means more money for farmers!

 

“The farmers Matti works with rely on him to get a good price for their coffee – this is their livelihood and without him they’d struggle.  If they sell via the commodities market rather than direct to providers, they get significantly less return for their labour and can barely feed their families.  Selling direct to companies like The Twisted Fork allows them to earn multiples of what they would ordinarily earn, and provides a much fairer system."

 

 

 

Matti and Rich are in regular contact – he visits the café often to talk about the conflict and the coffee and sends photos of what’s happening back home.

 

Rich added: “Cameroon Boyo is really good coffee; grown in small family-run farms in the western highlands of Cameroon – 5,000 feet high in volcanic soil. It’s a powerful taste and it’s been getting rave reviews.

 

“It seems as though the conflict in Cameroon is largely ignored by the mainstream media. Families are struggling. People are dying – but no-one talks about it.”

 

Since the conflict began, large swathes of farmland have been destroyed and the country’s crop production has declined significantly.

 

Matti says “The rich taste and flavours of Cameroon Boyo Coffee come from the volcanic soil, the natural inputs we use to nourish and care for them along with the other crops that grow side by side with them.

The farmers are the owners of the coffee, directly traded with partners like The Twisted Fork; every cup of coffee purchased directly contributes to the livelihood of the farmers' families.”

 

Local Buyers Club members save 10% at The Twisted Fork

 

If you’d like to hear Matti’s story direct and meet him when he’s next at The Twisted Fork, email info@thetwistedforkcoffee.com

 

www.twistedforkcoffee.com

 

 

 

Support independent business & save with the Local Buyers Club card!

 

We're on a mission to help you discover & support the best independent businesses in London

 

JOIN NOW for just £12

 

 

We've negotiated discounts of 10 - 30% for our members at over 130 awesome restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help shine a light on them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally. We also organise and support community initiatives.

 

 

 Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 130+ businesses listed on the site.

 

Find out how it works and JOIN THE CLUB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Basic Square
Featured in

Helping you live local for less

The Local Buyers Club has four very simple goals: to highlight & support London’s best independent & small-chain businesses, to save you money, to better connect communities and to support local projects benefiting those in need.

Islington-Gazette_edited.png
About Us 
Terms & Conditions
Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Cookie Policy
2019 Copyright: Local Buyers Club Ltd. All rights reserved.
Follow Us:
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
Sign up to receive updates of new businesses joining: