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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Boom in kola trade

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Boom in kola trade

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Coly told Mirror, an online UK portal, that: “For the first time since the Ebola outbreak, we went back to Boma Village, where we source our cola, to reconnect with the people there and see how proceeds from the sale of Karma Cola are helping rebuild their lives.

“We met pretty much the entire village standing on a bridge that the fund we set up helped build. The people are so resilient and despite experiencing some terrible things they are some of the happiest people. We were made to feel very welcome”.

He went on: “I thought my world had changed a little bit the first time I visited Boma Village three years ago. But this time it was equally impressive.

“Just understanding that what we can do with a small indulgence such as a soft drink, can create so much good at the other end of the supply chain. It’s really reassuring to see that it’s actually real in practice.”

Albert Tucker, who leads the Karma Cola Foundation, was involved in the Sierra Leone UK Ebola taskforce, which looked at the economic and other impacts of the Ebola outbreak that struck almost 28,000 people across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and killed more than 11,000, with at least 4,000 in Sierra Leone.

The virus is among the most lethal diseases known to man.

The Karma Cola Foundation was set up to work with the people to figure out the best use of that money and, through the sale of over a million bottles of Karma Cola, the Foundation has been able to send US$90,000 directly to the Boma Village.

All Good, a 100 per cent New Zealand owned and operated, said like the organic Fairtrade farmers they had dealt with, they were also a small business trying to make a difference.

“We officially set up the Karma Cola Foundation to make sure everything was legitimate. So on top of the price of cola, additional proceeds are fed into the Foundation for development initiatives. We call it Thirst AID.

The company said their cola is grown by farmers like Idrisa Bonah and Mustapha Sesay, noting that in addition to paying farmers a fair price, their workers worked directly with cola nut farmers in the village to help build their crops and their communities.

“What the farmers told us they needed was a good, reliable and consistent price for their produce and some support to start their own development programmes. Then perhaps they could fix a few things and start to build a sustainable future. So that’s what we are endeavouring to do”.

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