February 12, 2008

Ashaninka coffee sold in Wales

Adventurer imports Peru coffee to help tribeAN ADVENTURER is personally importing coffee beans into Wales to help an ancient tribe protect its Amazonian rainforest from loggers and smugglers.

Dilwyn Jenkins, an anthropologist and travel writer, has been in close contact with the Ashaninka tribe of Peru for 30 years.

When he first filmed their semi-nomadic lifestyles for the BBC in 1978, he realised their land had been under pressure from the outside world for centuries.

But his contact with the remote tribe has since intensified because the Ashaninka’s culture and forests are now suffering more than ever before.

Mr Jenkins explained, “Illegal loggers, cocaine smugglers, missionaries, anthropologists and TV documentary production teams all manifest real, if quite different, challenges.
And:“[T]heir trees are their resource for their future. So we are helping them to sell their coffee and think about eco-tourism.

“I import their coffee which comes into Wales via a container ship and it is sold to shops, businesses and cafes in the Dyfi Valley, Machynlleth.”

Mr Jenkins is also helping the Ashaninka to utilise carbon offset funding for sustainable forest management and to develop eco-cultural tourism with the support of Ecotribal, a Welsh tour company that visits tribal peoples at their request.

The company aims to help the Ashaninka to find a more sustainable income from growing coffee, chocolate and sesame, and producing cotton and seed craft goods, while retaining control over their forest and culture.

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