Throughout 2011, the customers of Yuba Bicycles were invited to donate money to send several Yuba Mundo longtail cargo bikes to Level Ground’s HOPE Project in Tanzania. Yuba matched the donations on a dollar per dollar basis throughout the year. In the end, six bikes were donated to the Ileje, Tanzania, coffee growers collective.
The donated bicycles arrived at the coffee growers collective on December 22 and have already made life easier for the farmers.
The HOPE Project works with coffee farming collectives to leverage the power of direct fair trade to improve lives. In Ileje, they have helped farmers collectively purchase coffee cleaning and processing equipment, which has enabled farmers to earn market rates for their organic coffees.
“The original idea for the Yuba Mundo came out of my experience seeing people haul cargo on rickety bikes in Africa and South America so I really wanted to be able to find a way to bring these bikes to the workers who inspired them,” said Ben Sarrazin, founder and owner of Yuba Bicycles.
Yuba Bicycles aims to expand the partnership with Level Ground in 2012, hoping to be able to bring bikes to another one of their direct fair trade farming collectives around the world.
Founded in 1997 to trade fairly and directly with small scale producers in developing countries, Level Ground helps communities in the developing world improve themselves through the collective purchase of processing equipment, schools and wells.