Welcome to The Sprudge Twenty Interviews presented by Pacific Barista Series. For a complete list of 2022 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twenty.

“George Onyango is the regional director of We Effect, a development organization supporting co-operatives organizations in East Africa. His role as the regional director strives to strengthen cooperatives through membership-based democracy, long-term economic thinking, social responsibility, and transparency. We Effect’s co-operative model is prioritizing smallholder farmers toward right to food.”

“With a strong team cutting across the region, He is responsible for leading close to 38 partner co-operatives, associations, and community-based organizations in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania that are supporting small-scale farmers, men, and women, members of organized groups lacking housing, interested in self-management and mutual help solutions, and in co-operative ownership.”

“We Effect supports local partner organizations through a partnership model focusing on organization capacity strengthening to create sustainability. With over 30 years in the industry, George leads the pro-cooperative organization in strengthening co-operatives in the housing and sustainability rural development spheres.”

Nominated by Catherine Waking’a

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed.

What is the quality you like best about coffee?

Dark roasted coffee.

What’s your favorite song to brew coffee to at the moment? 

People Like You by Gramps Morgan

What was the last cup of coffee you enjoyed?

Brewed black coffee.

What is your idea of coffee happiness?

Coffee being the first choice drink for people in my country.

What issue in coffee do you care about most?

Poor coffee farmers getting the best price possible for their coffee produce.

What cause or element in coffee drives you?

Working with coffee farmers to keep on growing good quality coffee.

What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?

The underpayment of farmers for their coffee. Those who benefit most do not toil as the farmers do.

Who are your coffee heroes?

Coffee farmers.

If you could drink coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Kofi Annan.

What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?

More about the politics of the coffee business.

Where do you see yourself in 2042?

Retired on my farm growing coffee.

The Sprudge Twenty Interviews are presented by Pacific Barista Series. For a complete list of 2022 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twenty.