Twin Café brings us delicious, high-quality coffee, direct from a small farmers’ co-operative in Esteli, northern Nicaragua. Students of Sheffield University, who had visited Esteli (Sheffield’s twin city), founded Twin Café in 2013.
Farmers are paid a fair wage up-front, and receive 50% above the Fairtrade minimum for the coffee. Grown in the stunningly beautiful Miraflor (mira=look, flor=flower) Nature Reserve, there is a strong emphasis on environmental conservation. The coffee is shade grown, sometimes under a canopy of banana trees; the pulp is used as compost and there is an ongoing re-forestation programme.
So, this coffee is good for the farmers in the co-operative, grown in a sustainable way and also funds impressive community projects in Nicaragua and Sheffield.
In Sheffield, Twin Café supports ROUNDABOUT housing association and 393 Open Access Youth Club – local charities providing activities, shelter and support for homeless young people. It also runs a programme with local UK schools to try and prevent homelessness.
In Nicaragua, income from Twin Café has helped Miraflor to build schools, support community health projects and improve heating systems in workers’ homes. It also supports the Los Angelitos music project. The co-operative welcomes visitors from its twin city and organises eco-tourism, to provide income and showcase the organization.
Twin Café has a group of volunteers helping to extend their work. Partners of Twin Café include Students for Esteli (student exchange programme) and Pollards of Sheffield, who roast the coffee.
Nicaragua is a country still tackling poverty, subsistence farming, domestic and human rights abuse. Within this context, Twin Cafe is successfully ‘working with the possible’ to achieve small but significant change.
TWIN CAFÉ: PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT