Congo’s Coffee Future Coffee Resource This month’s coffee from Congo shares an inspiring story. In a country where civil war, poverty and great adversity have been pressing, strong spirits and resolve persevere. A shared vision of community and family speaks one language in Eastern Congo: coffee. Photo Cred: SOPACDI GROWING THEIR FUTURE Prior to the emergence of a structured availability to produce and distribute coffee, coffee as a resource took it’s toll on the community. Before direct market access, made possible by SOPACDI (a coffee cooperative working with farmers to improve conditions), many husbands and fathers drowned smuggling coffee across Lake Kivu to barter for food and everyday essentials. FEMALE EMPOWERMENT Sopacdi has also developed female empowerment programs. Adding an extra two cents per pound to the sale of their coffee, the added costs contribute to women’s committees and female led small business ventures. Of said ventures is a cassava mill which produces cassava flour, a food staple amongst the local community. BUILDING COMMUNITY Pushing through years of difficulty and conflict, the community here in The Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has put peace and production into practice, yielding only the finest of each, from coffee to reconciliation. Their pursuits have recently been recognized winning the SCAA 2014 Sustainability Award for their project with Twin in recognition of their achievements in leading a speciality smallholder coffee revival. COFFEE FUTURE Photo Cred: SOPACDI This is the start of many more progressive developments in the region. Meeting the fair trade premium, inspiring investments for the future of the community include: coffee nurseries, central washing stations with raised drying platforms, offices, a warehouse, and now a new lab with trained cupping professionals. The community is forging partnerships and sustaining support as they proceed to develop a positive future. PREMIUM QUALITIES & FACTS Founded in 2003, first exports in 2008. Currently 5,600 farmers, including 1,450 women. The first to achieve Fairtrade and Organic Certification in Eastern Congo; the first fine specialty grade coffee from DR Congo; the first to build a modern coffee washing station in 40 years. Specialty Coffee and fully-traceable Specialty Lots. Average family farm size 0-2 hectares. Altitude 1460m to over 2000m. Main harvest from March to June; fly crop from September to October. EXPERIENCE THE COFFEE When brewing our coffee from Congo, try using a pour-over method. Using this brewing method will help you experience the flavor notes of tropical fruit and vanilla with a chocolate finish. For those who like more full-bodied coffee, try it as a French Press! Learn more about – SOPACDI – Solidarite Promotion des Actions Café Development To explore more coffee from around the world – coffee subscriptions available.