Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Ugandan Orphans Appeal - Progress report.

As reported a few months ago on the blog, we have launched a long term fund-raising initiative this year in order to support secondary schooling for young Ugandans whose families have been devastated by the scourge of Aids / HIV.

We are pleased to say that we have achieved most of our early objectives more or less on schedule, thanks to the support of our customers both online and at our "wet" coffee bars out in the field. We have been touched by the regular small donations from many individuals in our "spare some change" pot. We have also been able to link a small group of donors online with specific children's school fees for the autumn term in Uganda in return for a donation of £13.00.

To date this phase of the fund-raising has grossed around £2300, thus covering the education costs for 95 children at various secondary schools in the Iganga region for the last term of their school year beginning in September. It will also allow us to make a significant contribution to sponsoring the whole group in 2007.

Our fund-raising has now moved on to a second (and slightly more painful!) phase. Thanks to the diligent work of the last group of UVP volunteers to visit Uganda in June and July, we have now sectioned off a smaller group of children from the main group and these will be our sole funding responsibility whilst they remain in full time education. This group will be at least 26 and possibly as many as 34 children. They all attend the same school in Iganga region, the Busalamu Secondary School. We hope this committment will enable UVP to increase the number of orphans on the scheme and they have told us that we are now their largest individual sponsors.

We aim to get the funding for 26 of these children for the whole of 2007 (approx £50 per child) by mid October. The means for this is by sponsorship of me running a marathon in Lausanne, Switzerland on October 22nd. 26 miles - 26 children - £50 per mile - each mile for a named child, most of whom have already written letters to sponsors and whose family and academic record we have on file.

I am happy to say that the miles (and the children!) are getting gobbled up fast, and we have been able to get the first 9 miles sponsored this past week.

We have left the individual term sponsorship of £13.00 in our online store for anyone interested to continue supporting us in this way.

We also welcome anyone who wishes to commit the full £50 for a "mile per child" and they can e-mail myself at:
to be sent more details.

You can also follow my tedious ramblings about my running training and updates on the fund-raising on my running blog.

Thanks to all who have supported us thus far. I am happy to answer any individual e-mails you may send, especially those with offers of help raising money as we slide out of summer and into autumn.

The cause is a worthy and noble one, truly promoting self-development, and giving an amazing return in terms of "bang per buck".

We are proud to be associated with Alison, Melissa, Brent and all the other med students in the USA who have chosen to commit themselves to the Uganda Village Project. We are looking forward to a long association with them and those that follow them so that Hill & Valley Coffee can continue in it's support of directly funded meaningful development charity projects in coffee growing regions.


New Postal Charges - buy 3 packs at a time!

As most of you will have heard, Royal Mail have quite radically changed the way they charge for first class letters and packets this week.

The effect on our own postal costs has been relatively insignificant. Unfortunately a bag of Hill & Valley beans will not fit through the guide window (although we know it often goes through your letterboxes!) and we are therefore unable to benefit from the dimension discount by calling a pack of coffee "a letter".

The most significant change comes in the charge we are obliged to pass on for orders of 1-3 packs.

Amazingly we have actually been able to reduce post & packing charges on the two most popular order sizes!

- a single pack order becomes relatively much more expensive at £1.80;
- a two pack order has the reduced charge of £2.50;
- a three pack order is now significantly cheaper at £3.00!

All other charges are unchanged, except for 6 packs which goes up 10p to £6.70.

The net effect of this is to mean that it is significantly cheaper in overall terms to place orders for 3 packs! It is an anomaly in the sliding scale of charges but we would expect you all to take advantage of it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Stock Update for August and September

Firstly apologies!

Late post - inexcusable. we've been busy, but I still intended to update this blog more often!

Anyway, moving on while I still have anyone's attention.

We've again "rotated" some of the coffees and although most of the old favourites remain, there are a few significant changes.

Kenya - on reflection and after quite a bit of tasting, I decided not to continue with the Gethumbwini Estate from this year's drought affected main crop. The coffee did not have the same sparkle I was used to, the beans were a little small and it was far too damned expensive compared to other top drawer coffees. The absolute excellence of our current Ethiopia Yirgacheffe more than makes up for this and I am sure many of you have already been wowed by this coffee over the summer.

Colombia - on the recommendation of our mates at Mercanta we have switched Colmbian relationship coffee to another co-op for a while. The new La Piramide coffee comes from the Inza area in Cauca, and in blind cupping it held it's own against recent Cup of Excellence finalists. We are glad to bring it to you at the continued basic price of £3.00 per 250g bag, and it is also giving a wonderful zest to several of our blends which feature Colombian coffee.

After the orgy of the last two seasons our offering from Central America is a little restrained at the moment, and I will stick with the Guatemala Huehuetenango El Paternal as long as stocks are available. Good chocolate notes and a subtle but crisp acidity.

Although very much a minority coffee for us, we have decided to run with a slightly different Decaf for a while. It is still a CO2 process coffee, but rather than Colombian is a Peru Organic "Guabo". We've had to lift the price a little to £3.50 a bag, but this reflects rises in processing costs as well as the premium necessary for fully organic certified coffees.

We are still basking in the luxury of offering three superb Indonesian Island coffees of a quality unmatched since we started H&V in 2000. The Java Kayumas, Double-picked Sumatra Lintong and Sulawesi Kalosi are still "fade-free" from the warehouse but nevertheless should be tried at the height of the season.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?