Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Muslim, Jewish, and Christian coffee farmers make mirembe kawomera—delicious peace


Mirembe Kawomera coffee delivers a double jolt.

First, there’s the caffeine, but right behind that tang comes the jolt of learning that the arabica beans were sold by an alliance of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Ugandan­ farmers.

This unique cooperative in the Mbale region of Uganda is Mirembe Kawomera—Delicious Peace. Their coffee comes to market fairly traded, distributed by Thanksgiving Coffee, a Fort Bragg, California, company specializing in organic and fair trade produce.

By banding together and by establishing a fair trade relationship, the farmers now realize enough profits from sales to meet their families’ basic need­s—a sharp contrast to the hardship of trying to sell as individuals to large corporate buyers in a glutted world market. Better circumstances have, in turn, sweetened relations between the unique Mbale Jewish community and their more numerous Muslim and Christian neighbors.


But the history of prejudice would have to become less important than present concerns if the Mbale farmers were to survive in 2004. Keki, who had been supported by Muslims and Christians, as well as Jews, in a successful 2002 bid for a Namanyonyi Sub-County council seat, was widely considered a credible leader. Now, 400 farmers of all three faiths joined to form the coffee cooperative.

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