By Brian Lashley
A UNIQUE brand of coffee has been launched by a refugee community.
Tameside-based Oromo Coffee Company produces coffee directly linking Ethiopian coffee growers with Oromo Ethiopians living in Greater Manchester.
The company produces whole beans for grinding, or pre-ground coffee.
The venture is backed by Tameside council, the charity Lorna Young Foundation and West Yorkshire-based Bolling Coffee, which helps to import and roast the coffee and provides assistance with product development.
The Fairtrade enterprise cuts out the middleman and ensures a greater level of profit is generated for the OCC, its members and Oromo coffee growers in Ethiopia.
Funds raised will also help the local Oromo Ethiopian refugee community towards employment, skills development and social and economic integration.
Garedew Yadessa, 52, has lived in Tameside for six years and helped set up OCC.
He said: “We are very proud and excited that we have been able to bring our coffee to the market. We have received a great deal of interest in the OCC and our coffee since we launched the social enterprise; it is wonderful to now launch the coffee products themselves.
“This is very important for the Oromo community; we are learning new skills, moving towards employment and taking pride in who we are.
“It is very encouraging that local people are supporting us as a community and, through this company, we can help people in our new area and help the farmers back in Ethiopia.”
Martin Meteyard, chairman of the Lorna Young Foundation, said: “This is a totally unique project and we are very pleased to have been a part of it.”
Source: Manchester Evening News