Welcome to the Twin team
Posted by Richard Anstead on 1 June 2016
It has only been a month since I joined the team at Twin and Twin Trading but I am delighted to say that I during that time I have been inspired by the work of the team here and overseas and have had a truly warm welcome.
It has taken me a while to meet up with many of the team due to travel commitments and it will be sometime before I meet others working for Twin in origin countries around the world.
When I started in April many of the Twin team were in Atlanta, Georgia at the annual SCAA convention. The Speciality Coffee Association of America is a familiar organisation for Twin and we love attending the convention. In 2014 we won the SCAA Sustainability Award for our work in the DRC and the following year we were delighted to see our close partner Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union scope the prize!
There were no prizes for Twin this year but still a great chance for our team to showcase their innovative work at the Re:Co Symposium. Again Twin has past form here. In previous years Katherine Nolte has presented there with Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union and this time Xavier Hamon, Sustainable Agriculture Project Manager took the platform. Xavier talked about conducting 'unusual business’ - how Twin and a group of partners including M&S, Taylors of Harrogate and Matthew Algies can come together to work on climate change adaptation in innovative and pre-competitive ways to secure specialty coffee from unique origins. Many of the areas he spoke about were picked up throughout Re:Co and SCAA.
Away from Atlanta Twin has continued to work with key producer partners. We have worked intensively in Uganda over the last month and will continue to do so partnering a long-term partner there as the struggle to cope with the impacts of severe flooding and limited infrastructure to stand up to these pressures, right at the height of the harvest season. This is very real impact of climate change hitting those who are least equipped to deal with it, organisations that need strengthening in order to withstand these and other pressures.
In my own work, I have been engaging with the team here and with our Regional Manager from Kigali, Emmanuel Harelimana who was visiting London. It has been great to learn about Twin’s work in coffee, cocoa and nuts and to hear how our work with partners such as Divine Chocolate, Liberation Nuts, ACRE and others is helping to deliver a form of trade where everyone benefits and where small farmers have the power to shape their own business and community development.