Belfast Telegraph

Hugh Jackman: Fair-trade is essential

Hugh Jackman has spoken about how his charitable trip to Ethiopia inspired him to create a fair trade line of beverages called Laughing Man Coffee and Tea.

The 46-year-old Les Misérables actor visited Ethiopia in 2009 with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness as part of their roles as ambassadors for humanitarian-aid organisation World Vision.

Hugh met with a coffee farmer named Dukale during his trip and the meeting was memorialised in a new documentary entitled Dukale’s Dream.

"I'm kind of playing the role of everyman here, who kind of sort of understood what fair-trade was but in reality didn't, and now by tracing that story right through to the cafe in New York, people can just visually understand that the simple choice that they can make can make such a massive difference on the other end of the chain," he told The Hollywood Reporter of what Dukale’s Dream is meant to communicate to viewers.

After visiting Ethiopia, Hugh created fair-trade beverage brand Laughing Man Coffee and Tea.

Hugh offers Dukale’s Dream blend to customers for purchase and he is proud to be selling the farmer’s wares.

"I think as the story grew, it sort of naturally grew from making a promise to Dukale to do something to speaking at the UN to creating a coffee brand to putting Dukale's name on it and using and actually buying his beans and selling it in our cafe to that kind of fairytale ending…of the Keurig Green Mountain partnership, it just sort of expanded," the actor noted.

Hugh says he and Dukale exchange letters with each other often.

And The Wolverine star plans to return to Ethiopia one day with his children in tow, who serve as the namesakes of two trees he planted with Dukale.

"I've made a promise to him that I'll go back and I've been waiting in a way for my kids to be old enough," Hugh said. "Now that they've grown up, I think as soon as we have time we'd love to go back. The Oscar and Ava trees that I planted are now actually bearing fruit and coffee beans that are being sold in our cafe, which is kind of fantastic to me. So I'd love to go back and actually see [Dukale] again and his family because he was a really inspiring man."

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From Belfast Telegraph