From Banking To Beans
Good|April 2017

Garfield Kerr was working on Wall Street when he dipped a tentative toe into the world of coffee. Now, his Dubai-based café and social enterprise, Mokha 1450, is supporting hundreds of female farmers across the developing world. editor Jennifer Gibson joined him on an origins visit to Ethiopia to find out how your choice of cup here can affect lives there…

If there’s one scent most of us think we know, it’s coffee. What few realise, however, is that when it’s in bloom, a coffee plant doesn’t smell like coffee, but like jasmine. It looks like it too. Tiny, perfectly imperfect blooms that will each become a cherry, ripening at varying rates on the branch before each producing a bean that will pass through hundreds of hands and likely travel thousands of miles before ending up, eventually, in your cup. Coffee, a layman quickly discovers, is a complicated business.

Garfield Kerr, however, has made his living dealing in the complicated. The US-educated Jamaican lawyer had spent years pulling 18-hour days on Wall Street, working as an investment fund manager, when, in 2010, he found himself in Yemen conducting a feasibility study for a private equity firm that wanted to export speciality coffee from the country. During the visit, he met Kim Thompson and Matt Toogood of Dubai’s RAW Coffee, who set out to give him a crash course in the realities of the business for those at the sharp end.

“We broke bread with family farmers wherever we went,” Garfield recalls. “The significance of coffee to these farmers was never lost on us and, while I was one hundred per cent certain at the time that I would never pursue anything in the coffee industry, everyone else was joking constantly that I was already in the coffee sector.

“I had become very much interested in the fact that most people drink coffee and never give a thought to the incredibly arduous labour that goes into every cup you have at breakfast or on the go before a workout. Along the coffee value chain, the farmer does most of the difficult labour and recovers by far the smallest portion of the profits. And women are present along 90 per cent of the coffee value chain but make up less than ten per cent of ownership or management. I became more and more passionate about redressing that wrong.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GOODView All

The Pink Brigade

Kitchen-based breast cancer awareness campaign will raise funds for the pink caravan.

3 mins read
Good
August 2017

Style With Substance

So you’ve heard about ethical fashion, but what does the movement really mean for your wardrobe and your shopping habits? We asked Ayesha Siddequa, founder and creative director of Dubai-based Future Fashion, for the lowdown, and found slow and sustainable spending to be more stylish than ever…

2 mins read
Good
August 2017

Slow Shopping

From second-hand designer goods and ethically produced resortwear to great goodies for your home, these UAE-based businesses are leading the charge against fast fashion

5 mins read
Good
August 2017

My Little Black Book

Dubai-based illustrator and co-founder of creative Design firm We are seven minutes, Dina sami, shares her uae insider knowledge.

1 min read
Good
August 2017

Lean And Green

Known for both its healthy eats and guilty treats, 1762’s latest dubai outpost has its eyes on environmental recognition too.

2 mins read
Good
August 2017

Declutter Your House

If your house Is a dIsaster zone of loose papers, forgotten InstructIon manuals and dIscarded lego brIcks, don’t despaIr – a few small steps can make a huge dIfference. here are fIve, fIve-mInute methods to clear the clutter…

2 mins read
Good
August 2017

Beat The Boredom

Being stuck inside got your kids climbing the walls? Run out of inspiration for activities that won’t leave your house looking like an obstacle course? We asked childhood activity expert Abeer Al Tamimi, the founder and owner of Dubai’s Kids HQ, for some indoors inspiration…

3 mins read
Good
August 2017

Swimwear Shop With Confidence

A few expert pointers will ensure bikini shopping isn’t an ordeal, insists Kate Kikano, owner of TKD lingerie. 

2 mins read
Good
July 2017

Food For Thought

Home of the Healthy buzzwords, eat well Hopes to turn Dubai’s dining scene on its Head

2 mins read
Good
July 2017

By The Sea

Bringing the seaside into your home might Be cute, But coastal needn’t mean kitsch. Look to the latest interiors ranges to make the Beach chic.

2 mins read
Good
July 2017
RELATED STORIES

CANADA OKS RETURN OF BOEING 737 MAX AIRCRAFT

The Boeing 737 Max can return to Canadian airspace beginning this week, officials said, concluding nearly two years of government review after the aircraft was involved in two deadly crashes that saw the planes grounded worldwide.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #482

Jamaica, Jamaica...

We all know that there is something about Jamaica.

6 mins read
Caribbean Living Magazine
Winter 2020/2021

LICENSE TO THRILL

Where to play like James Bond and rock out like Harry Styles in Jamaica

6 mins read
Maxim
January - February 2021

Built by Angels

My mother called to ask if I knew the story of the 11 churches carved from single stones in Ethiopia

5 mins read
Angels on Earth
Jan/Feb 2021

APPRECILOVING THE HARMONY

DIVE DEEP INTO RASTAFARI PHILOSOPHY AND TRADITIONS AT THE RASTAFARI INDIGENOUS VILLAGE.

4 mins read
Porthole Cruise Magazine
November/December 2020

Still Serving

How a woman veteran is turning her struggles into positive action

8 mins read
Guideposts
September 2020

SUGAR & SPICE - Combining their savvy and skill, these chocolatiers make one sweet pairing.

Raising the bar, literally and figuratively, 3 Some Chocolates founders Kristin Parker and Patrick Ali Glanville wanted to create a company in which they could utilize both of their talents, so they did.

5 mins read
Upscale Magazine
April 2020

Salt Of The Earth

Salt has a life far beyond the dinner table. From land speed records to ancient lakes, this mineral is intimately tied to our lives and our land

4 mins read
BBC Earth
November - December 2019

Doc's Place: Jamaica's First Federally Licensed Medical Cannabis Wellness Center & Resort Celebrates Grand Opening in Negril

Health, wellness and cannabis go hand-inhand, and for those cannasseurs that want to incorporate cannabis into their travel plans, there are many options becoming readily available.

10 mins read
Edibles Magazine
Issue 59 - The Travel Issue

A Rastafari Indigenous Village In Montego Bay, Jamaica

On one of our last days visiting Jamaica we had the extreme pleasure of visiting The Rastafari Indigenous Village.

3 mins read
Edibles Magazine
Issue 59 - The Travel Issue