"If you fell the trees, then you destroy human culture as well as the birds of paradise. People depend on the forest, and the forest has always depended on us. We are as one."
Fuckoffee (now owners of the West Papua Coffee for Freedom Foundation) is more than just a provocative coffee shop with a cheeky atmosphere delivering an unforgettable service. It is a place that engenders freedom of expression, self-determination and a passion for the environment. We set out to establish an ethical, transparent, coffee-growing supply chain that is not for profit, ensuring that all the people that we work with to produce our coffee are treated equitably and with the utmost deference.
We find child labour, sweatshops and extortionate middlemen abhorrent and pride ourselves on being one of the very few coffee houses that ensure our coffee is organic, shade-grown and free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and harmful fertilizers, which not only produce an inferior coffee but eventually can damage the health of the workers handling it. We have been using shade-grown coffee since our inception, as it is the traditional method and incorporates natural ecological relationships. Whereas ‘open planting’ is unsustainable, ravages the land through overexposure to sunlight and has a negative impact on the environment.
Surprisingly, we didn’t then just sit on our arses all day basking in our self-gratifying wokeness. We actively scrutinised how our product is created and where the raw ingredients are developed by travelling to the region and talking to the suppliers. With such a vested interest in that region, making colleagues and subsequent friends, we, as a business, wanted to help improve the developing local economy of the Purosa valley region, recognising our collective responsibility.
Through our travels, we became friends with Benny Wenda and learned about the many years of atrocities that were inflicted upon the West Papuan people. Benny courageously fled West Papua after being unlawfully incarcerated for his activist actions for independence, reaching the UK in 2002 as an asylum seeker, and now has his home in Oxford. He is the Interim President of West Papua and the Chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and a consultant on our campaign drive.
Through the West Papua Coffee for Freedom Foundation, we are presently trying to relocate our coffee imports from a region in West Papua as part of our contribution to the liberation, whilst keeping the indigenous varietal and terroir the same. We now want to assist further by not just raising awareness but adopt a more tangible approach for the Free West Papuan Campaign in London and the UK.
Because Fuckoffee stands for freedom!