Nespresso announced the launch of Kahwa ya Congo as the newest and first USDA certified organic coffee within Reviving Origins. This is Nespresso’s unique program that focuses on making an impact on global farming communities where coffee growing is under threat.
In addition to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, countries such as Uganda, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Zimbabwe are also part of the Reviving Origins Nespresso program. The program helps communities with overcoming conflict, environmental disasters and economic hardships, as well as making farms more sustainable and bringing the rarest coffees to the world.
The coffee comes from rain-rich volcanic soils along the shore of Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is one of the greatest coffee regions but families in the area are facing challenging conditions; 95 percent of households are financially deprived due to healthcare challenges. Furthermore, 45 percent do not have access to clean water.
Nespresso, in collaboration with Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), TechnoServe and Olam, are helping provide access to clean water, health services and are supporting farmers to grow coffee sustainably. Together, they are working with farmers to add agricultural expertise, improve access to clean water and open new clinics to provide healthcare services for over 80,000 people in coffee farming communities in eastern Congo by 2024.
“Working with farmers to help cultivate and nurture sustainable coffee farms has been the heart of our business for over 30 years, with a goal to truly realize the transformative power of coffee and deliver the highest quality coffee to consumers across the globe,” said Alfonso Gonzalez Loeschen, CEO of Nespresso North America, in a statement. “Through our Reviving Origins program, we are inviting the Nespresso community to participate with us and see the direct impact – whether it be donating trees in Puerto Rico, building wet mills in Uganda or providing technical training and access to agronomists. We’re proud of our program, the work and the long-term positive impact for farmers and their communities.”
According to the World Atlas, the top coffee producers in the world are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. Brazil produced 5,714,381,000 pounds of coffee in 2016. Coffee plantations in Brazil cover 27,000 square km with the majority located in Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Parana.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is 29th on the list of top coffee producers and produced 44,312,000 pounds of coffee in 2016. According to Reuters, the Congo was one of the largest exporters of coffee before their civil war in the late 1990s. The war made farmers flee their homes and abandon their crops.
Nespresso has helped 450 farmers in the Congo and improved the quality and productivity of their harvests with the hope of extending the program to more than 5,000 farmers by 2024.
“We are committed to providing long term support that will help Congolese coffee farmers, and their communities, to rebuild their coffee industry and their local economies,” said chief executive Guillaume Le Cunff in a statement.
In the United States, over 50 percent of everyday coffee drinkers are over the age of 18. 30 million adults in the US drink specialty coffee beverages, including mochas, lattes, espressos and more. Furthermore, America is ranked 25th for coffee consumption per capita with an average consumption of 4.2kg per person, per year.
“Through years of fighting and insecurity, Congolese families kept tending to their coffee fields, even after the market disappeared,” said ECI field operations manager Valéry Namuto. “They kept toiling because they had hope in a brighter future for their families. This new partnership with Nespresso will help secure a meaningful livelihood for skilled Congolese farmers and bring world-class basic services like clean drinking water and affordable healthcare to their communities.”
Reviving Origins, by Nespresso, is helping change every cup of coffee drank by creating positive impacts around the world. Every cup of coffee is contributing to the equipment, training or resources farmers and their communities need to create a better future.