At first sight you might think, that this is yet another clever marketing campaign by a multinational company but coffee vs gangs is more than just a marketing campaign. 20 people have graduated this year and are now embarking on prosperous careers in the coffee industry. Watch the advert here.
Coffee is one of the biggest industries in Honduras, but Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world and is known for its dangerous street gangs - many of whom lure young Hondurans into a life of crime from an early age. As Honduras' biggest coffee exporter, Kenco is investing back into local communities to sustain coffee farming culture and give young Hondurans a safe future outside of gangs.
Yesterday morning in Dublin, Kenco hosted a breakfast to launch The art of Coffee Vs Gangs. Gang tattoos are symbolic of a life of crime in Honduras, with gang members using special tattoo symbols to identify their allegiance to certain gangs. Kenco Ireland commissioned Cally-Jo to create an original artwork that captures the rich symbolism of tattoos, but also touches on the hopeful potential of coffee farming as an alternative to gang life.
Cally-Jo Pothecary's designs have won worldwide acclaim for their unique blend of fine art and tattoos. Her reputation as one of the world's most sought-after tattoo artists was confirmed when music star Rihanna flew Cally-Jo to the Dominican Republic to create her henna-style hand tattoo. Cally-Jo has since gone on to ink tattoos for several well-known stars including Sienna Miller, Professor Green and supermodel Jourdan Dunn.
Speaking to Suburbia Online at the breakfast, said that she was moved and inspired by the stories of young Hondurans who had escaped gangs, "This campaign is unlike any other I've ever taken on. From the outset, I was driven by a curious fascination about Honduras; how could a country be so beautiful, yet so dangerous? Why were young people being seduced to leave coffee farms for a life of violent gang crime? I've tried to bring these contradictions and deep-rooted cultural tensions to life in my drawing".
Entitled "Hands of Hope & Despair", the piece was unveiled to media today and ten limited edition prints of Cally-Jo's original artwork will be given away on Kenco's Facebook page www.facebook.com/KencoIreland in the coming weeks.