Cafe launches camel milk cappuccinos to help Kenya farmers

29 May 2019, 14:20

A cappucino

A cafe has launched camel milk cappuccinos to highlight a project helping traders in rural Kenya.

The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow will sell the "camelccinos" for the next month, with 10% of proceeds going towards a scheme helping camel milk traders.

The Mercy Corps project is helping 141 female camel milk traders near Wajir, in Kenya's rural north-east, to boost the shelf life of their product.

They have been given solar-powered milk coolers, refrigerated transport and vending machines to help preserve the milk in the average 40C (104F) heat - temperatures which previously led to around a quarter of the milk spoiling.

The project is being funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DfID).

Mercy Corps executive director Simon O'Connell said: "We are delighted to be partnering with DfID to bring you camelccinos for the first time ever in Scotland.

"We hope this fun initiative will help highlight the importance of supporting communities on the front lines of climate change to find ways to adapt and improve their livelihoods."

The milk is said to have a creamier taste than cow's milk and is popular across Africa and the Middle East.

It is hailed by scientists as the closest alternative to human breast milk - containing 10 times more iron and three times more vitamin C than cow's milk.

Willow Tea Rooms owner Anne Mulhern said the camelccinos are proving popular so far.

She said: "When we were approached about camel milk, we looked into its properties and found out that it's healthier and higher in Vitamin C and iron than cow's milk. It's also lower in lactose, so it's great for our lactose-intolerant customers."

She added: "Camel milk cappuccinos could become a permanent feature on our menus."

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said: "DfID is proud to support Mercy Corps' work in Kenya, helping camel milk farmers sell their wares by providing them with refrigerated transport and vending machines.

"This is boosting their businesses and creating more jobs.

"Currently, most of Kenya's camel milk is consumed domestically, but if camelccinos become popular in Scotland this could open up exciting export opportunities for Kenyan farmers in the future."