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8 minutes
Coffee Study Program

Planting the Seeds of a Sustainable Future

 

Amidst the mountains of the Dominican Republic, the Coffee Study Program students gain first-hand experience of the local production processes. Stuart believes they may hold the key to empowering the future generations of coffee farmers. 

 

Coffee runs in Stuart’s family. Back in Uganda, he’d join his grandmother on the plantation, working alongside her on the plains of his home country.

 

During his days in the Dominican Republic with the Coffee Study Program, Stuart gained a new perspective on the craft of coffee farming – a perspective he first gained by climbing a mountain. 

“Where I come from, I grow coffee together with my grandmother; however, we grow it on flat land. Seeing it grow well in the mountains was a surprise.”

 

Stuart and his fellow students are spending time in Neiba. Nestled between the mountains and Lake Enriquillo, this town is home to a coffee farming cooperative, where plantations thrive on the mountain range to the north.

 

At first glance, the mountains appear inhospitable. What could possibly be farmed here? Yet, as Stuart discovers, the hard work of the farmers has created an extraordinary product. 

 

“This coffee,” says Stuart, “is rich in nutrients and tastier than the one grown on flat land.”    

 

But Stuart’s new perspective is shaped by more than mere altitude. By examining the present, it provides a glimpse of what the future might look like for other coffee-growing communities.

 

Setting out on this journey, one of Stuart’s questions was about the role of young people in the future of coffee production.

“What role can young people play in coffee production? The answer is simple: follow tradition.”
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When young generations learn from their parents, by growing, picking and processing coffee together, they lay the foundations for their own future – creating a business that is both economically and environmentally viable. 

“Coffee is generational. I love how families come together to contribute to a bigger goal.”

 

 

 

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