Near the end of November a forum, attended by at least 12 internationally known panelists on the subject of Haitian coffee, was held to jumpstart the Korekafe project. Held in Thiotte, Haiti's first international 'Coffee Cupping Event' saw the participation of those such as: France's Christophe Eberhart and Florent Gout, Canada's Guylaine Pelletier, the USA's Brad Brandhost and Casey Blanche and Diane Nsengiyumva and Edouardo Ramos Samahoya from Haiti, among others.
The project was the brain child of Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders (AVSF), various partners locally as well as the French NGO. The panel gathered on the 28 and 29 of November to discuss Haitian coffee, its mysteries and the potential for its flavors in the presence of those players active in the local coffee industry.
Fair Trade Café is located at 4882 Palm Coast Parkway North West, Florida. They serve coffees that are harvested by hardworking men and women in Haiti. Your purchase at 'Fair Trade Café' will help people in an impoverished country to earn a living. Haitian coffee is a wonderful product that simply needs a proper market where it can be sold. Fair Trade Café works jointly with 'Singing Rooster', which is a certified 501 (c) (3 ) nonprofit enterprise that offers on-ground assistance and partnership to the coffee harvesters and makes direct buyer relationships. They also assist in cultivating high quality gourmet Haitian coffee, buy, sell and export bulk quantities of Haitian coffee beans.
Four non-government organizations (NGOs) have partnered to aid coffee producers in Haiti, growing coffee beans for the export market. The Clinton and Leslois Shaw Foundations, along with La Columbe Torrefaction and Four Seasons Hotels, have revealed Four Seasons will start offering Haitian coffee on its menus. The variety chosen for inclusion on the menus is a coffee bean indigenous to mountainous areas enfolding Thiotte. La Columbe is the coffee bean wholesaler.
Part of a long-term partnership to outsource Haitian coffee to wider markets, the NGOs intend to create more employment opportunities and raise the standard of living for many Haitians as the enterprise develops new markets.
Born in 1950, Michele Bennett was the daughter of a Haitian businessman who owned 50,000 acres of land, where he mostly grew coffee. She moved to New York when she was 15 and stayed there until she completed her school from St. Mary's School in Peekskill, New York. Her first job was with a slipper company, where she worked as a secretary.
Her first marriage was with the son of a mulatto officer in 1973, a lock from which Michele gave birth to two children. Michele's first marriage ended five years later, in 1978, post which she took up a career in Public Relations. Her first stint was with a classy hotel called Habitation LeClerc.
Jean Price-Mars, leading mind of the Black intelligentsia, assumed prominent roles in the Haitian government as a young person barely out of his teens. The government delegated him Ambassador of Haiti to France, Germany, the Dominican Republic, and U.S. His scientific aptitude led him to study anthropology and medicine, his gift for analysis made him an academician.
Price-Mars worked as teacher, politician, and writer. During his political career, he served as Secretary of State, ran for the presidency, and represented his country as two-term senator. As thinker and writer, he advocated negritude, a pride in being black and the empowerment that meant.
He stood up as a champion of Voodoo. He made comparison of the hierarchy, practices, deistic forms, belief system, and spirituality of Voodoo parallel to other legitimate religions.
Former US President Bill Clinton acts as the United Nation's special envoy to Haiti. His duties have taken him on two trips to the country so far this year. First, in January, he came for the 3-year anniversary of the devastating 2013 earthquake, which took place shortly after his tenure started. His latest visit, a two-day event that consisted of site visits and a donation announcement, on March 10 & 11 saw him accompanied by a nearly two-dozen strong delegation of potential investors from the restaurant, perfume and lingerie industries.
During his visit, he spoke about the controversies and misfortune faced by the country, but stressed that Haiti is still replete with 'staggering potential.' It's a sentiment also expressed by Haitian President Michel Martelly who's 'Haiti is open for business' slogan was designed with luring potential investors from around the world in mind. While they are optimistic about foreign investments being the key to rebuilding Haiti, analysts at home and abroad warn that the country's flawed justice system and its archaic banking practices don't instill confidence in investors. Further concerns are the advisories by the U.S. government that warn potential visitors about concerns of health, security and a lack of proper infrastructure.
Paul Magloire, Haiti's 35th president, was born in 1907, heir of a military father. He followed his father's career path, enlisting in the army and rising to Chief of Police in Port-au-Prince.
Paul Magloire played a pivotal role in overthrowing two Haitian presidents, Élie Lescot and his successor, Dumarsais Estimé. President Estimé, in a fruitless effort to draw out his time in office, attempted to amend the Constitution. The mulatto elite aided Magloire in deposing Estimé. Magloire then took the reins of power as President of Haiti.
During his term, Paul Magloire poured money into tourism, Haiti becoming known as a desirable vacation destination for foreign travelers. Imposing a tax on coffee-bean exports, he used the monies for development projects, raising living standards of the impoverished, as well as improving city services. Most notably, he gave the right-to-vote to women. In foreign policy, he forged stronger relations with the Dominican Republic, reversing the violent and unstable history they had shared in the past.
The town of Coteaux is the capital of the Arrondisement of Coteaux in Haiti's Sud Department. However, it is not the only reason why many people throng to the town every now and then. A high number of believers often go to the town in order to pray to the Miraculous Virgin in Coteaux.
It is believed that the Virgin hears and grants the prayers of believers, especially women. In order to reach the shrine where the Miraculous Virgin can be found, people have to pay a pilgrimage and climb a 500-step stair. Going to the shrine through the long stair is almost the same as scaling the popular Great Wall of China.
Residents in the town of Thiotte in the Arrondissement of Belle-Ense heavily rely on the town's booming coffee industry. Many residents here are coffee farmers who get support from an organization called Root Capital. Under its small-business model program COOPCAB, rural farmers work together in order to increase and ensure the quality production of coffee beans. Coffee farmers in Thiotte grow Arabica beans.
Rural farmers also receive around 100,000 coffee and tree seedings from COOPCAB and this supply allows them to maintain production. Not only that, COOPCAB also encourages Thiotte farmers to follow sustainable farming practices so that the production of coffee in the town remains strong and steady.
Coffee used to be Haiti's main agricultural industry; the country is also one of the Caribbean's oldest and original coffee producers. Yet Haitian coffee has been overlooked and unrecognized in the world market. This is due to the difficulty in entering Haitian coffee to the international market, as well as the lack of benefits given to local coffee growers, thus a decline in local production. But recently, new light and hope has been given to the country's declining coffee industry.
The Haitian government, in partnership with Saint Thomas University, launched the Café COCANO Fair-Trade Coffee Project five years ago and has since been able to help boost Haiti's coffee market and assist local farmers in production and compensation. This project is also in partnership with the Cafeiere et Cacouyere du Nord' Ouest Coffee Cooperative, Pascucci Torrefazione, an Italian coffee roaster, and the University's Center for Peace and Justice.
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