USA: Kona Coffee Farms Host African Delegates
As True Mother prepares to visit Africa next month, she invited 35 delegates from Africa to Kona, Hawaii, where they attended an International Leadership Conference focusing on business development.
The theme of their visit, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), was “Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development: The Role and Responsibility of Business Leaders.” Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chairman of FFWPU, explained the reasoning behind this theme: “True Mother recognizes Africa’s deep history of suffering, oppression, and poverty that continues into the 21st century. So she gifted the delegation with this conference, which could help them develop businesses and eventually improve the economy in Africa.”
The conference had a specific focus on coffee processing and how to sustainably develop coffee businesses in Africa. Why coffee? Coffee beans are huge resource in certain African countries, but they are exported to western nations that process, develop, and ultimately profit from the African coffee beans. Thus, by learning the ins and outs of coffee processing and business development, the African delegates gain insight into prospering from their own resources rather than sending them to other nations. The eventual hope is to improve the economy of struggling African nations.
A tour of Roger Kaiwi’s coffee processing facility began the learning for the African delegates on the morning of December 8. After driving along the beautiful western coastline, the delegates and Unificationists took in the scenic views as they entered the coffee belt of the Big Island of Hawaii. Jesse Kaiwi gave an introduction to the coffee processing center and then led everyone through each step of the process from receiving the red bean, to washing, fermenting, drying, sorting, separating, quality control, and bagging. Jesse also used the machinery involved in each step to demonstrate the steps of coffee processing, making it easier for everyone to remember each step involved.
Later, the conference participants visited the coffee tasting center and its gift shop, before leaving to stop by the seashore. There, they took their shoes off and wade in the wonderful ocean water. “Many of us expressed a lot of appreciation and gratitude for our trip,” said Dr. Tom Walsh. “We all got to know one another and create close relationships.”
Having created a foundation in coffee processing, the African delegates then learned about sustainable development of the coffee business in Africa. Mr. Eunsang Kim gave a presentation about history of coffee, and its growing areas near the equator.