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Coffee-loving entrepreneur Saleh Sharif aims to take on the big corporate entities and deliver top quality brews direct to Bahrain from family-run and owned coffee farms.
His start-up company Beanboat has teamed up with a base of farmers in the hills of the South American Andes in Colombia to offer some of the best-graded coffee produced in the world.
“Our mission is to provide a platform for the coffee farmers where they can supply directly to their consumers so they have better opportunities and a fair market access - where they can be the rightful owners of their products,” he said.
Saleh and his friends have started selling the grounded and whole beans online and at local markets and fairs. They hope to attract cafes, hotels and other enterprises, alongside families, to support the initiative.
The 28-year-old Bahraini, who graduated from AMA International University, is best known for his work as a film producer and director, added: “We can’t tell our story without telling the stories of the farmers. Farmers around the world are subjected to unfair trade systems.
“They are exposed to big corporations whose hunger to maximise their profits have driven many farmers to lose their land and abandon farming and pursue other ways to make a livelihood.
“Farmers who continue in spite of the obstacles in their way have a hard time providing for their families. Coffee farmers are often only paid during the harvest season which occurs twice a year and have to suffer through several months in which they have little money, some have trouble keeping the water running in their farms and not having enough coffee pickers to pick the coffee on time. Farmers face many such difficulties every single day.”
Beanboat’s partnership with its partners allows the farmers to strike a better deal for their coffee products. “Most of the profits from the sales of the coffee go directly to the farmers - they are our partners and work hand-in-hand with us,” he said.
Currently the coffee is being sold directly from the farm on the Beanboat website to consumers around the kingdom, with free delivery across the island.
Saleh and his Beanboat team have been manning a stall at VIVA Winter Wonderland at A’ali Mall offering samples to visitors for just BD1 a cup as well as 250gm packs for BD3.5 and 1kg supplies for BD12 to coffee connoisseurs for home consumption.
Several local coffee shops have also snapped up supplies.
For more information visit www.beanboat.com