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Verena Endtner's film

«From lawyer to spice trader»

Dive into the world of spices and experience the ups and downs of the young entrepreneurs Raphael Flury and Saphira von Moos in Africa:

> Stream the documentary now!

Subtitles in German, English, French, Italien und Spanish!

Trailer of the film «From lawyer to spice trader - A Swiss succumbs to the magic of Zanzibar»

From lawyer to spice trader

A Swiss succumbs to the magic of Zanzibar.

Hardly anyone in this country thinks about the quality and fair trade of exotic spices such as pepper, cinnamon and vanilla. In Zanzibar, however, local spice farmers are struggling for their livelihood while powerful large-scale producers are making a fortune. A young Swiss wants to change that.

Raphael Flury is recruited directly from a Zug business law firm to Zanzibar to build up a company in the highly competitive environment of the spice trade. The 30-year-old lawyer has a vision: he wants to revolutionize the traditional spice trade.

While Fairtrade is increasingly demanded in other areas of trade, awareness of it is still low when it comes to spices. Large individual producers still dominate the market and flood it with cheap products of barely declared origin. While they are making a killing, local spice farmers are struggling to survive.

Raphael wants to change that by selling fresh organic spices directly to Europe. In doing so, he kills three birds with one stone. The farmers earn more money because the numerous middlemen are eliminated. Natural spice forests are protected from deforestation through sustainable production, and customers get fresher spices, thanks to direct transportation routes. Competitors' products, on the other hand, take up to five years in transit and are blended together from many growing regions.

We delve into the depths of the fairytale spice forest, where farmer Bakari hand-pollinates vanilla blossoms and rolls perfectly shaped cinnamon sticks, while daredevil climbers harvest cloves from airy treetops. In the exporting country, we receive the goods in the spice store La Cucina, go to Germany for the industrial processing of the cloves into Jägermeister, and experience the professional use of the award-winning Zanzibari pepper by celebrity chef Markus Arnold.

Raphael seems to have struck a chord with his strategy, as he already has more orders than spices. With the surprising request of a new major customer, he is under pressure, because the capacity of Zanzibar's natural spice forests is already exhausted. If he does not want to endanger the ecological balance, he urgently needs new cultivation areas.

In eastern Tanzania, in the untouched cloud rainforests of Usambara, Raphael sees opportunities for expansion. But the area is hardly developed logistically and corrupt authorities oppose Raphael's plans. Marriage to partner Saphira, who accompanied him to Zanzibar, is imminent, further absorbing him.

Will he manage to build up his social enterprise in Africa without being torn between ethical demands and market pressure? Fair trade, careful use of resources and social responsibility are pressing issues that are increasingly challenging and affect us all.