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Busy Schedule Planned for Thurles – Ugandan Fairtrade Coffee Producer Visits This Week

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Thurles warmly welcomes Mr. John Nuwagaba, General Manager of the Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union Ltd (ACPCU) on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th February as part of a 14-day tour of 17 Fairtrade Towns in Ireland during Fairtrade Fortnight, February 23rd – March 9th.

Mr Nuwagaba has a degree in economics and political science and a post graduate diploma in management. As the General Manager, Mr. Nuwugaba is responsible for the day to day running of the ACPCU co-op. The objectives of the ACPCU co-op include enabling members to have more control of their coffee business and increasing the income of the majority of farmers by adding value to the product.

The ACPCU co-op is located in the southwest of Uganda, which is the tenth largest coffee producing country in the world. 80% of the population (31m.) are involved in agriculture and the major exports are coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton and textiles. Life expectancy in Uganda is 50 years and the adult literacy rate is 67%.

During his visit to Thurles, Mr. Nuwagaba will talk to 400 school children at the Ursuline Convent Primary School and Gaelscoil Durlas Eile and explain to them how Fairtrade helps the lives of the Co-op’s 6,600 smallholder coffee growers. These schools are two of the fourteen schools in Thurles that are including Fairtrade materials in the 08/09 curriculum.

On the morning of Saturday 28th, Mr. Nuwagaba will visit the Thurles Farmers Market to meet the local growers and producers who sell their own food produce direct to the public. In the same way that Farmers’ Markets give local producers the opportunity to sell their goods directly to consumers, Fairtrade helps to establish more direct links between small producers in the developing world who are growing the foods that we eat every day and us, the consumer.

To mark the occasion of his visit and to celebrate that Farmers Markets in Ireland are in common cause with Fairtrade producers overseas, Mr. Nuwagaba will plant two Tipperary heritage apple trees in the grounds of Tipperary Institute.

During his four day visit to Tipperary, Mr. Nuwagaba will also visit the Farmers’ Markets in Cahir and Clonmel, give public talks in Roscrea, Nenagh, Tipperary Town and Carrick on Suir, meet the Fairtrade committee in Templemore and attend the celebrations in Cashel for achieving Fairtrade Town status.

Other Fairtrade events in Thurles include: A screening of the remarkable documentary ‘Black Gold-Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’ to business students in Tipperary Institute on Tuesday 24th February at 6.30pm; A guaranteed good night out at the annual Fairtrade Table Quiz in Skehan’s Liberty Square on Friday 6th March at 8.30pm. For further information and to book a table in the Quiz (Note €40 per team of 4) call our Secretary on 0504-26488.

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