OUR PARTNERS IN MYANMAR
A feeling of hope for the future is one we hold onto as we witness the tragic events taking place in Myanmar, a country we feel so privileged to know through our relationships with the farmers and producers we work with in Shan State, Mandalay Division and Mogok. Tragically, since the seizure of power by the Myanmar military on the 1st of February and detention of the democratically elected civilian leadership, we are now seeing an escalation of violence and the killing of many peaceful citizens by security forces across towns and cities.
Internet access and telecommunications continue to be severely restricted, but we have been in regular contact with our Myanmar partners, who are continuing with this year’s harvest as much as they can in the circumstances.
However, the situation right now is grave and unpredictable. Through our partners, we’ve heard first-hand what impact this is having on day to day life. Many do not feel safe now, both in their own homes and outside, with restrictions to the internet affecting communication and access to trustworthy information. Another major concern is being unable to earn a living, making it very difficult to support their families, continue their education and pay for essential health care.
In terms of this year’s harvest, a significant impact is being felt across day to day operations, compounded by the current COVID-19 restrictions. Travel and transport limitations are affecting the delivery of cherry to processing facilities while banks and government offices continue to be closed, making everyday transactions impossible.
Despite these serious challenges, our partners are determined that they will bring in another successful crop this season. They are hopeful that their importing partners and, in turn, our roaster customers (upon whom they absolutely rely) do not turn away at this time.
We firmly believe that, collectively, ongoing trade between farmers, producers, importers like us and you the roasters is the most effective way to bring hope and real, sustainable positive change to the communities we work with in Myanmar.
The future is uncertain and difficult to predict. One thing we can guarantee is that we will continue to support our friends in Myanmar and we remain 100% committed to working together for the long term. If you’ve ever tried their coffees, you will already know that they’re exceptional. We stand in solidarity in wanting peace and democracy to prevail.
If you’d ever like to discuss our sourcing practices and how we work in Myanmar (and elsewhere), please don’t hesitate to contact us.