In early October Hurricane Matthew, one of the strongest and most violent tropical storms within living memory swept a devastating path through the Caribbean. In its wake it left destroyed homes and infrastructure but one area that the world’s media chose not to mention was the effects the storm had on the regions crops. In Haiti which was already trying to recover from previous hurricanes over 1,300 lost their lives but the storm also flattened the coffee plantations, which has historically been one of the islands primary crops.
Haiti has some of the world’s largest crops of cacao and coffee beans as the warm and usually sunny conditions of the Caribbean are ideal for growing. Around the world coffee prices have seen a steady increase as the amount of stock available dwindles but the issue is more than just one of supply and demand as Haitians needs international help and assistance in getting back on their feet again as quickly as possible. The work on the ground in Haiti is hard and anecdotal evidence from the island suggests that much of the effort to restore the plantations has been washed away.
A number of international organisations are on the island already including Panther Coffee and the COCANO coffee cooperative whilst charitable donations can be made to the STU Haiti Relief Portal. Another non profit organisation Singing Rooster has for many years now been working in Haiti to promote a sustainable future for the islands coffee industry and they also have set up a donation program with the aim of raising $10,000 for a seedling nursery at Camp Perrin, near the devastated village of Les Cayes.