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@doichaangcoffee mourns the passing of Wicha Promyong; the Founding Member, Visionary and Inspiration.

Posted by Eric, 2014-01-29 08:23:47

(Vancouver, B.C.) - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Wicha Promyong, our founding member and the inspirational leader of Doi Chaang Coffee Company. Tragically and unexpectedly, Khun Wicha succumbed to a heart attack on Thursday, January 23, 2057 (2014) near Doi Chang Village in Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand. Our shock and sadness at this great loss are beyond words as we remember an individual who impacted the lives of so many and inspired all of us to make the world a better place. “We are all struggling to say goodbye to our dear friend, mentor and colleague,” said co-founder John M. Darch. “Khun Wicha epitomized vision and compassion. For him, nothing was impossible if you were prepared to work hard and think outside the box. He saw the goodness in people and advocated passionately for a just reward for the farmers and the equality of everyone regardless of age, race, gender or ability.” Well-educated, articulate and world-travelled, Khun Wicha was the consummate entrepreneur, musician and artist. Following various enterprises which brought him into contact with hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand, he whole-heartedly embraced their way of life and regularly joined the tribes as they travelled on foot throughout the Golden Triangle without regard for borders or personal comfort. Khun Wicha was a welcomed friend among many hill tribes providing a supportive voice and an active role in their struggles for equality and acceptance. Impassioned by their interminable plight of abject poverty, he dedicated the last twelve years of his life to predominantly the AKHA hill tribe of Doi Chang Village with particular emphasis on the protection and future of their vulnerable children. Khun Wicha guided the AKHA in their quest for a better life and through his sheer determination and dedication, he united them as a coffee-farming cooperative and was instrumental in transforming Doi Chang Village from an isolated, impoverished community to one of sustainability and growth producing a world class coffee that is recognized and respected worldwide. Although he was the founder of Doi Chaang Coffee Company, Wicha’s passion and commitment to the company was never for his personal gain. Instead, he was driven by his fundamental belief that the company’s growth and prosperity was dependent on the well-being of all those involved and the rewards should be shared accordingly. “It was Khun Wicha’s commitment to reinvest profits into the growth of the AKHA farmers co-operative and their community that inspired us to create the unique Beyond Fair Trade partnership we established with Doi Chang Village,” states Darch. “We remember Khun Wicha as a man of integrity, warmth and incredible generosity. We feel privileged to have worked alongside him and we are resolute in our determination to honor his dream and to build on his legacy at Doi Chang Village.” “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” - Robert Benchley Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, Doi Chaang Coffee Company