Eva established E-Logistics in 2008 to both trade in coffee and create inclusive linkages across the coffee global value chain. She is committed to seeing women participate at all levels of the coffee value chain. E-Logistics is fully licensed by the Coffee Board of Kenya as a coffee dealer. In addition to growing, buying, roasting, packaging and selling coffee internationally, Eva has launched Eva’s Coffee, a registered trademark of E-Logistics Ltd. A social entrepreneur at heart, Eva is heavily involved in coffee policy advocacy work in Kenya. She links the coffee sub-sector to policy makers and helps communities of coffee farmers develop strategic options and actionable plans. E-Logistics employs ten full time employees.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- How a conversation during a spices mission to Europe turned Eva into a coffee trader who firmly believes in doing good profitably.
- How through African Family Health (AFH) – the E-Logistics corporate social responsibility arm –Eva has cultivated trust among both Kenya’s coffee farmer communities and international buyers and gained a point of entry into the elite global coffee club.
- Eva’s success in building a coffee business around what she is known for – gender-mainstreaming and strong negotiation skills. Knowing your niche.
- Starting a business from her savings.
- The importance of belonging to various chambers of commerce.
- Her joy in being able to earn a livelihood from trading coffee.
- Eva’s encounters with gender-based business constraints within her own family. Her words of encouragement to women facing similar issues: “Stand steady. Don’t take it personally.”
- Eva’s wish to see more collaboration versus competition among the coffee farmers of Kenya.
- Challenge overcome: Creating a locally grown, roasted and packaged coffee brand: Eva’s Coffee.
- Pending challenge: Obtaining machinery so E-Logistics can roast coffee in-house and mechanize grading and packaging. Her efforts to ensure that her company is ready when a financing opportunity arises.
- Lessons learned: Never pass up a networking opportunity; and always follow-up! Trust is serious coffee currency.
- Pending dream: Creating a system through which she can cost-effectively source coffee from any African coffee-growing country and sell it to buyers all over the world.
- Words of inspiration: Getting involved in agriculture is like helping tend the biblical Garden of Eden, a wonderful way to fulfill your dreams!
Coffee Board of Kenya: http://www.coffeeboard.co.ke/