This may play a role in tackling the impending banana milkshake crisis, but really, it’s AgriEvolve that’s on the frontlines and making good progress. By building a network of remote buying stations that collect cherries fresh rather than dried, they’re able to pay farmers twice the price, enabling them to keep coffee trees in the ground. They’re backed by Kyagalanyi (the enormous group mentioned in the last email) and somehow, the Kua team found themselves sharing lunch with Alistair, the manager of Kyagalanyi, at the house of Jonny, the manager of AgriEvolve. To make conversation, I thanked these two coffee big dogs for their time, “especially given we calculated that Kua actually only purchases 0.00000013% of your annual harvest”.
This email’s a bit disjointed because I’m writing it on the fly. Literally. We just landed in Sydney. The way home was smooth sailing, but the way over was a delay-ridden, four-flight, fifty-hour ordeal that will require many more than Paul’s trees to offset in emissions. Interestingly, our cross-country dash, from the border of Kenya in the East to the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West was also fifty hours.
Hour thirty-seven was the lunch. Given our meagre buying percentage, we were surprised at how generous Alistair and Jonny were with their time. Upon discovering how little coffee Kua actually buys, Alistair was surprised as well. But not because here he was, a big dog sharing lunch with a surprisingly little dog. Rather, for a lot of businesses, tracing supply chains and reinvesting profits comes as an afterthought, or a checkbox to tick after profitability. Kua worked out who its farmers were before finding out whether it had customers, and only started making money after it had something important to spend it on in Uganda.
Hopefully this order of operations becomes less surprising in the future.
Let’s catch up soon,