Scottish cafe selling camel milk cappuccinos to aid Kenyan farmers

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Camel milk cappuccinos will be on the menu at a Scottish tearoom this week in aid of project helping Kenyan traders deal with climate change.

The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow will offer the drinks, known as camelccinos, from Wednesday in what is claimed to be a Scottish first, with 10% of profits going towards a scheme for camel milk traders.

Camel milk is popular across Africa and the Middle East and 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.

Mercy Corps, based in Edinburgh, launched the project to enable 141 women camel milk traders near Wajir, in the north-east of Kenya, 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.”

Willow Tea Rooms owner Anne Mulhern said the novel drinks have proved popular in tests and will be on offer throughout June.

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.

“We’ve road-tested it and our customers loved it. Camel milk cappuccinos could become a permanent feature on our menus.”

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said the project is boosting business and creating jobs in Kenya.

He said: “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.”

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