Give Haitian Coffee (and Farmers) a Chance

By Bryan Schaaf on Thursday, October 6, 2011.

Like Haitians themselves, coffee has African roots.  Throughout much of its colonial and post-colonial history, coffee was a major export and source of livelihoods.  However, mismanagement, deforestation, natural disasters, political instability, and embargos have resulted in a dramatic decrease Haitian coffee exports. Yet, Haitian coffee is good - unusually good.  Can Haiti revive and expand its coffee industry?  Just Haiti and Singing Rooster are two organizations that believe it can.  Buying from either of these organizations is a great way to support both your coffee habit and Haitian farmers.

 

Brazil and Colombia are probably the first names that come to mine when you think of coffee in the Western Hemisphere.  However, coffee afficianados who have had Haitian coffee often find it to be distinctive as articles in Esquire and the Wall Street Journal can attest.  Another good article about Haitian coffee in general appears in The Atlantic.  While Haiti may never again be competitive in terms of the quantity of its exports, it can still compete on quality.  Plus, it has the advantage of being close to the United States, which consumes more coffee than any other country in the world and has a large Haitian Diaspora.

 

Fair trade coffee, purchased directly from the growers for a higher price than standard coffee, can particularly benefit Haiti by providing greater economic incentives to coffee producers.  While smaller coffee shops and corporations have long championed Fair Trade coffee, it is becoming increasingly available through large chains. Fair Trade coffee can be purchased, to differing degrees, from Wal Mart, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Sam’s Club and other major chains.

 

There are numerous, small peasant cooperatives throughout Haiti growing coffee for domestic consumption.  In a country where deforestation continues unabated, coffee can be part of better environmental management.  Growing coffee without shade, as in Brazil, requires massive quantities of chemicals.  In Haiti, coffee is farmed organically and thus requires shade.  This creates an economic incentive to not cut down trees as coffee is worth more than charcoal.  Other crops can be grown along with coffee.  Coffee pulp makes good compost for them.  Shade trees create much needed habitat for birds and other wildlife.

 

With the right economic incentives and access to markets, some peasant associations have the potential to grow.  Just Haiti was formed in 2007 to help an association of coffee growers in Baradères (Kafe Devlopman Baradè) do just that.  The coffee that the association produces is shipped and labeled as Kafe Lespwa (Coffee of Hope).  They plant, weed, harvest and process the crop by hand.  The ultimate goal is for the KDB to own and operate the entire business, including roasting and marketing.  Through rotating loans from Just Haiti, the association purchased two depulping machines and built the first two of four planned sites for processing and drying harvested coffee cherries. They began using these sites to process the harvest in the late summer of 2010.  As the association repays the loans, Just Haiti uses the money to make new loans for other small business projects.  In November 2008, the community exported its first commercially shipped supply of coffee to Baltimore.   Baltimore Coffee and Tea, with stores in Timonium,  Frederick, and Annapolis, is their roaster in Maryland.  In addition to roasting Kafe Lespwa, Baltimore Coffee & Tea will be buying coffee produced by the growers in Baradères, Haiti, and selling it in their stores and processing  internet orders.  You can buy Kafe Lespwa from Baltimore Coffee and Tea or through the Just Haiti website.

 

Singing Rooster, also a non profit organization, provides direct assistance to coffee farming communities in Haiti.  Singing Rooster cultivates and processes high quality Haitian coffee while also seeking new markets for it.  One hundred percent of its proceeds go back to the communities it works with to support coffee and fruit tree nurseries, land management and coffee waste training, coffee harvesting/processing/transport, and promotion of community gardens, mushroom growing, and beekeeping.  Concerning the latter, bees help pollenate coffee trees and provide honey that can be sold locally.  Take a look at an article in Common Breath Media about Singing Rooster.  You can buy either whole bean or ground coffee on their website.  If you are a non profit, click here to learn how you can use their coffee to support your fundraising activities.

 

When I think of Haitian food and drink, I think of pumpkin soup, rice and beans, rum, fresh juices, and of course coffee.  If you are a coffee drinker, purchasing Haitian coffee online has never been easier.  Buying through either Just Haiti or Singing Rooster is an easy to way to support agriculture and much needed rural livelihoods.  Perhaps Haitian coffee will yet be part of an agricultural rennaisance in Haiti.  Haitian coffee fan?  Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section.

 

Bryan

Clinton Foundation And Four Seasons to Support Coffee Growers

Clinton, Four Seasons to help Haiti coffee farms
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A high-end Canadian hotel chain will soon be lending a hand to Haiti's coffee farmers. The private foundation of former U.S. President Bill Clinton says Four Seasons Hotels Inc. will begin serving coffee exported from Haiti this fall in its New York and Toronto branches. The coffee is grown in the mountains surrounding Thiotte, a remote village southeast of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. The Clinton Foundation also announced it has teamed up with a fair trade group and a Canadian foundation to launch the Haiti Coffee Academy. This will provide training, tools and other resources to help improve the quality of Haitian coffee. Haiti was once a major coffee exporter but that ended because of decades of political instability. The Clinton Foundation made the announcement Tuesday.

As Aid to Haiti Slows, Private Coffee Co-Op Turns Heads

By Daniel Jensen
.
A woman carries coffee to sell as she passes by a house destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a year after its catastrophic earthquake. A Haitian coffee co-op is a bright spot among the Caribbean nation's recovery efforts. On the third anniversary of the quake that killed nearly 300,000, a growing coffee co-op is writing its own success story with loans and homegrown management. Haiti can seem like a place where relief efforts lead only to more disasters, especially in the agricultural sector. Though 70 percent of Haitians are farmers, 60 to 70 percent of the country’s food is imported due to reduced tariffs designed to lower food prices. Meanwhile, further natural disasters have hindered recovery efforts and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has announced that it is winding down operations, removing an important source of funding. At the same time, American lawmakers recently extended farm legislation, including subsidies that allow U.S. agricultural imports to undercut the prices of local Haitian products, which are often produced using centuries-old farming techniques.
.
This is why agricultural lender Root Capital is providing loans and consulting expertise to COOPCAB, a Haitian coffee co-op that markets its products internationally while investing money in local reforestation efforts that improve its own production. The cooperative, which has expanded six-fold under Root Capital’s guidance, now includes 5,000 members and has attracted the attention of dignitaries such as Paul Altidor, U.S. ambassador to Haiti. Managing COOPCAB comes with its own set of challenges. Meeting them requires a model that creates local business leaders rather than simply employing foreign relief workers. Root Capital’s Willy Foote explains: "COOPCAB ... is managed by local Haitian farmers with little formal training in financial management and accounting. ... As a consequence, we’ve had to innovate and hone our business model in Haiti, slowing our lending in the short term while accelerating and deepening our financial advisory services program."
.
Perhaps it is this emphasis on training that has made COOPCAB more successful than similar efforts. Critics complain that Haitian farmers focus too heavily on short-term projects, preventing long-term success. They point to the Federation des Associations Cafetieres Natives, a coffee co-op that received $10 million in investment but failed to produce sustainable profits. The brand now exists on paper only.
Government bureaucracy and outdated farming methods also stand between Haitians and their success. There is the story of Steeve Khawly, a rice importer who tried to bring commercial rice milling to Haiti. Because Haitian farming is less efficient than modern practices in developed countries, local farms did not produce enough local rice to make Khawly's effort profitable, so he packed up his mill and sent it back to Guyana.
.
He still believes that rice production in Haiti could exceed 160,000 tons per season if agricultural practices were modernized, but this would require large inflows of capital and the strengthening of supply chains. However, when commercial producers Riceland Foods tried to move production to Haiti, they ran up against impenetrable red tape, foreign policy reports, and eventually gave up.
.
There are signs of hope, however. Soon, Haitian entrepreneurs may find new opportunities to replicate COOPCAB’s model, as Ambassador Altidor has asked Foote to help advise formal policy decisions. Haitian minister of agriculture Thomas Jacques also plans to create a rice commission focused on increasing domestic production through the creation of "technology packages” for farmers. Without further access to capital and a government that simplifies the investment process, agriculture in Haiti can’t succeed. However, to transform Haiti from an aid-dependent economy to a market-driven one, startups also need to have good business sense. COOPCAB’s emphasis on training producers to be businessmen and letting local Haitians take the lead points to a model that other startups and social enterprises could emulate.

Locally Roaster Coffee Sold to Support Orphanages (12/26/12)

By Jennifer Cohron
.
Packages of Life is Hope Coffee feature images of some of the children who live in the Haitian orphanage. Blends grown in Haiti as well as Costa Rica, Ethiopia and various other countries are part of the line. Richard Lopez returned from his first mission trip to Haiti this summer with a hankering for the country’s coffee and a longing to help its children. He is now putting his passion for both into Life is Hope, a new nonprofit behind a local coffee roasting operation that is supporting an orphanage of the same name in Port-au-Prince. The beans used to make Life is Hope Coffee are grown in Haiti, Papau New Guinea, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia. They are roasted at a facility located behind Lopez’s business, Millwork Supply, on 11th Avenue South in Jasper. “Right now, we’re doing about 500 pounds a week. Our goal is for this to be our primary fundraiser, so that would mean between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds a week,” Lopez said. Sales of Life is Hope Coffee have generated approximately $10,000 for the orphanage since the nonprofit was founded in September.
.
More than $750,000 is needed to construct a new facility for Life is Hope Orphanage, which opened in 2001 with 60 children and nearly doubled in size after the country was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010. Currently, 100 children are sharing a handful of bedrooms at the orphanage’s two locations. Lopez spent a week at Life is Hope Orphanage over the summer as a chaperone on a youth mission trip with his church, Jasper First United Methodist. He was struck by not only the poverty of Haiti but also the behavior of the orphanage’s children. The group nicknamed one boy “Little Sleepy Red Shorts” because he frequently fell asleep while being held. He is the face of Life is Hope Coffee’s Haitian Blue Marmalade. Lopez was also taken by a little girl named Manushka. Small and shy, Manushka craved one-on-one attention. When she saw Lopez pull a piece of gum out of his pocket, her eyes lit up. Although Lopez urged her to keep quiet, she immediately began crying, “Chiclet! Chiclet!” — Creole for chewing gum.
.
Lopez watched in amazement as Manushka began biting off tiny pieces of the gum and distributing it among the children. “By the end, she didn’t have any. She had given it all away, and she was just as happy as could be,” Lopez said. Lopez felt God speaking to him in that moment, and he came home intent on helping the vision for Life is Hope Orphanage to become a reality. After a month of begging did not yield the returns that he expected, Lopez started seeking a sustainable fundraiser. At the same time, he was craving some of the coffee that he had received in Haiti. Lopez bought some Haitian coffee and was surprised when the beans that arrived were green. After researching the topic thoroughly, he began roasting coffee in a popcorn popper in his garage and then invested in $1,700 worth of Haitian coffee to roast and sell. The operation quickly took on a life of its own, and two commercial coffee roasters are now necessary to keep up with demand. Word about Life is Hope Coffee has spread as far away as West Virginia and Baltimore thanks in part to Jude Hoffman, a leader of the orphanage project.
.
Locally, Life is Hope Coffee is available at Millwork Supply as well as through several local churches. Lopez is currently working to get the brand in Whole Foods and on Amazon, and it will soon be advertised to churches around the country through Praying Pelican, an interdenominational Christian missions organization. For more information, visit Life is Hope on Facebook or at www.lifeishopesouth. org.

Read more: Daily Mountain Eagle - Locally roasted coffee sold to support orphanage in Haiti

A Boost for Haiti's Coffee Farmers (7/12/2012)

Caribbean Journal
By Caribbean Journal staff
.
Haiti’s coffee industry will soon be receiving support from a multi-partner development programme that could provide help to as many as 10,000 smallholder coffee farmers in the country. The programme, which was jointly set up by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund and the French Agency for Development, is being supported by Nestle. Nestle has signed an agreement with the IDB to provide advice and technical assistance in coffee production to Haiti’s farmers, committing a total of $300,000 over three years to the programme. The initiative will provide a total of $3.5 million in grants for projects aimed at regenerating Haiti’s coffee industry. Less than 20 years ago, coffee was Haiti’s primary agricultural export. Years of decline saw the demand of export drop from 191,000 bags in 1990 to 16,000 bags in 2009. That was due to several factors, chiefly a lack of farm investment.
.
Nestle will be working with Haiti’s National Coffee Institute to provide coffee seedlings and planting materials to enable coffee growers to replant and regenerate older crops. It will also be working with several other partners, including the Colombian government, to ensure that Haitian coffee growers benefit from the experience of their counterparts in countries like Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The company will also work with Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture to distribute training materials to farmers. Earlier this year, another coffee firm, Par Haiti/Pour Haiti, announced that it would be distributing Haitian-produced coffee in the United States. Haiti, which has been working to revive its agricultural market, received a $15 million grant from the IDB last month aimed at modernizing its agricultural policies and institutions. he IDB is currently using grants to finance projects totaling more than $200 million in Haiti, including crop intensification, irrigation and farming technology, among others.

Stories from Haiti: The Quest for Coffee (5/25/2012)

St. Louis Poverty Examiner
By Jill Adamson
.
As an avid coffee drinker, I had been well aware of the days, perhaps even hours, that I had been without coffee since arriving in Haiti. Thus began our quest for coffee....two days ago. Coffee is one of Haiti's biggest exports, so why on earth couldn't we seem to find it anywhere? We asked at little "shops" and "restaurants"-- note, both of these are simple stick huts with a few things inside them. "Non cafe," we were told again and again. Then we met a man who spoke relatively good english, and after speaking with him for a while, he was so enamoured with us helping "his country" he said he must help us. So we said, "well, we ARE looking for coffee..."
.
And so began the journey. We wove in and out of tiny dirt road alleys between little huts and stands. He stopped to kiss many elderly women on the cheek, calling them his "second madres". We heard everybody's stories, about their children, grandchildren, illness, diabetes in a country with no insulin, and mothers saving up with high hopes for their sons to become doctors and help Pignon. We then learned that our new friend, Reynold, was studying to become a doctor in Port Au Prince, and all these old ladies he stopped to introduced us to had made this possible for him.
.
After perhaps an hour, we entered a hut, and went into the back, where tiny baby goats galloped around and naked babies played in the dirt. He led us into a dark Haitian kitchen and introduced us to an old woman, telling her we sought coffee. She brought out a handful of raw coffee beans and ran them through her fingers. Now, I must admit, I had never seen raw coffee beans before. I didnt even recognize them, and at first protested that we were perhaps misunderstood. Of course, they laughed. The old woman said she would prepare the coffee beans and we could pick them up in two hours. Two hours later, we made our way back into town, found the old woman's hut, and she handed us a bag of warm, dark, freshly roasted, amazing smelling coffee beans. We payed her and left.
.
Next step? Grinding the coffee beans. By the time we returneed, the sun had set, and our coffee ventures would have to wait until the following morning.
The next day, we asked the little girl we lived with, Medeline, to help us. She brought out some of the siblings, who rolled out a large three foot, partially hollowed out tree trunk and a large stick. For about an hour, they pounded at the coffee beans (Rod and I both worked up only a slight sweat as well, trying it out; however they were much more efficient! And they all laughed to see a 'blac' woman doing it, too...it caused some commotion!) Then they sifted it, poured the coarse parts back in and re-crushed again and again. Two hours later....
.
Celione brought out what looked like "a dirty sock", according to our new American friend Anthony. It was the filter. She boiled some water and ....Viola! They brought our sugar and Creme and we finally had our coffee! Two days, lots of muscle and travel by foot...it was full bodied, flavorful and well worth it. Turns out, nothing tastes as good as the coffee--- which you began your quest for, on foot in the Haitian sun, two days prior.

hope for plantation cafe and cacao haiti

About the Program:
Farming Cacao, Coffee and Rice to provide economic stability and development to the people of Au-Borgne, Morne Au-Borgne , and lagras margo
After extensive research and from personal first-hand experience, Great American Heart sees the opportunity that exists in those three northern cities in Haiti. Au-Bogne has that is distinct to the location unlike the overpopulated areas of Port-Au-Prince Subsequently pooragricultural yields hinder the nation’s ability to produce enough food to feed itself. The program is a five year plan to plant rice, cacao and coffee throughout the region of Au-Borgne. These three crops are the main crops of the region.

Great American Heart, Inc. strongly believes in helping by empowering. With that philosophy, we are launching this farming program. The program will involve educating the locals on efficient farming of the selected crops on their own land. We will collaborate with locals who own lands that are not being utilized to teach land owners how to use their land to farm and feed their families and sell to the local and near markets to become self-sufficient and contribute to the growth of their region.
Great American Heart will through IMF funding provide the seeds, fertilizers, agricultural and administrative training, and financial assistance to the locals to learn how to efficiently grow these crops.
Through co-operative collaboration with mayor and deputy of the city of of borgne, the organization will receive 65 acres from the local government. In exchange, the organization will utilize the land to create jobs at a rate four women and two men per carreau (3.19 Acres).
In addition, Great American Heart will work with locals land owners to farm these three crops of the program (rice, cacao, and coffee).
In cases where the available farmable lands that are not owned by the locals Great American heart will lease land space from the owners and hire farmers to work the land.
The program will involve the following steps:
1- Team up with landowners- 5 to 7 year lease in exchange for education and all the resources the landowner will need to grow their crops. Collaborate with the local authorities to contract out government land for farming in exchange for local job creation
2- Preliminary education for farmers/landowners on how to grow crops more efficiently and promote timely harvest.
3- Provide seeds, fertilizers, and farming equipments and technical support to local farmers.
4- Job creation, the program will focus on training women how to farm. Women will be hired throughout the farming process, pruning, harvesting, packaging, distribution, and in administrative roles such as marketing and selling the final products. The hiring ration will be four women and two men per farmable carreau (3.19 acres).
5- Micro finance assistance to farmers without land to provide financial support to lease farming land.

Advantage of the program:
1. Opportunities for Women
The aim of the program is to provide women of Au-Borgne with opportunities to feed their children, become self-sufficient and contribute to their family economic advancement. After the earthquake, there are thousands of women who lost their husband and in turn fell deeper into proverty. Women are at a greater disadvantage in Haiti when it come to their involvement in the labor market. The unemployment rate is already the biggest economic issue in Haiti, it is even more felt by the women in Haiti as a whole. Due to the fact that the education rate is lowere among women, it is nearly impossible for a woman to find a job. The low education and low employment factor exist for the women who live in major cities, the women in countryside like Au-Borgne, it is nearly unheard for a woman to have a job. Most women work in what is called “backyard garden” farming fruits and vegetable in their yard, harvesting enough just to feed their family.
Great American Heart plans on providing women in the community if Au-Borgne with training and give them an opportunity to contribute to economic advancement of their community.
2. Economic development
With the job created by the program, the workers will be able to contribute to the economic advancement of their families by being able to provide for their basic needs food shelter and clothing. In addition, those involved will now be able to provide education to their children which in turn will promote to the socio-economic development of the community.
3. Job creation
The project will create jobs for over 350 women on the field and in administrative capacities.
4. Self-sufficiency
With the training received, the people who participated in the program will be able to continue

The Planting Process
1- The coffee
It takes coffee trees 4 years to start bearing fruit, and 6-7 years to reach maturity and yield about 1 kg of green bean per tree.
When germinating the seeds, you can choose between two methods. The first method is spreading the coffee seeds on sand beds and covering them with straw or burlap bags. Another method would be mixing the seeds with expanded polystyrene or moist vermiculite. The seeds are kept in polythene bags. When the seedlings have grown to 20 to 40 centimeters, they will be planted on the fields. The soil should contain rotted manure from cattle as well as phosphate fertilizer. The beds should be at least one meter in width and the seedlings should be planted around 50cm deep. Each seedling should be spaced 12-15cm.
2- The Cacaco

While soil characteristics of cocoa growing countries vary immensely. Cocoa plantations are usually established on land where the drainage moderates the wet and dry climate seasons. And the composition of the soil has to be neutral, neither acid nor alkaline. The Au-Borgne has a neutral climate with all the rives and the greenery landscape that the place cool.

3- The Rice
The landscape of the rice fields is dotted with canals, valves, pumps and drains. In the process of contour farming, the system of checks which create the beautiful lines and patterns in the rice field, are designed to; contour the land, regulate, control and level the water flow, reduce erosion and increase infiltration. Through these sinuous lines, small dams are created, sediment and runoff is reduced and this improved infiltration promotes better water quality. Planting grasses on the waterways helps to prevent further erosion, although sometimes farmers battle the grasses encroaching into the rice plantings.
While much of the world is dependent on monsoon rains and seasonal flooding of rivers for rice cultivation, the Au-Borgne farmers will have the opportunity to create a good canal system and pumping stations from the water supply that is available from the natural rivers.

Harvesting

1- The coffee

In north NSW the industry was started from small plots where the coffee was
manually picked. Manual harvesting allows selective picking of the ripe cherry, but is prohibitively expensive with one picker picking 150 kg of cherry per 8 hour day. At a casual rate of $120/day, this works out at some $5.28/kg green bean.

A self-propelled mechanical harvester and a tractor driven harvester have been
Successfully developed and more may be put into use as the requirements grow. Costs for harvesting are of the order of $150/hr, plus a $100 transport charge each way which growers may share if located in proximity. About 700 trees are harvested per hour in one pass, so harvesting costs are about 50c/kg of green bean.

2- The Cacaco

Quality chocolate is made from beans taken from cocoa pods that have reached just the right degree of ripeness. Under-ripe pods have low cocoa butter content and over-ripe pods may contain microbes. Both affect the fermentation process and damage chocolate flavor.

3- The Rice

The cycle of rice is 190 days and the harvest season lasts for about 30 days in mid-September to October. The process itself begins with leveling, rolling and preparing the field, flooding, airdropping the seed and fertilizing. Water is brought in from the local rivers by a series of pumps, valves, and drains. Water levels control the growth and later will be used to break down the straw. The fields are allowed to dry out in preparation for the extremely demanding work of harvesting. The harvest is a 24-hour operation, as the window of opportunity is small. The moment for harvest, like the moment of a photograph, is critical

From Haiti, a Coffee With a Mission (Carib Journal - 3/14/2012)

A new coffee company heading to the United States is looking to do its part to help Haitian famers. Par Haiti/Pour Haiti (“From Haiti for Haiti”), the brainchild of Michael Pereira, uses hand-roasted coffee made of 100 percent Haitian Arabica beans, with dollars generated by coffee sales helping to increase income for Haitian farmers. “The Haitian people want their labours to mean something, and they want to be self-sustaining,” said Pereira, who is the CEO of Haiti Originale, which is pushing a range of Haitian-made products, from coffee to rum. “Par Haiti/Pour Haiti is the first product to support our cause of promoting sustainable development in Haiti.” The first US distribution will occur at Whole Foods Market locations in Florida. “This is the first of many products and programmes to promote Haitian products under the Par Haiti/Pour Haiti banner,” he said. The coffee is shade-grown at high altitudes in Haiti, with each harvest hand-picked and dried by Haitians. The company’s programme is extending to a host of categories, including cocoa, produce and apparel.

Haiti Coffee Making a Comeback (11/2/2011)

Miami Herald
By Jacqueline Charles
.
THIOTTE, Haiti — Connoisseur Osier Jean steps into the sterile room, pauses and clears his mind. With notebook and flavor wheel in hand, he quickly turns to the task at hand — checking the quality. He sniffs, slurps and swirls, allowing his senses to take in the richness. The liquid is not wine, but caffeine rich Kafe Kreyòl, Haitian coffee. It is the country’s latest effort to revive a once-flourishing industry that has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and crises. For years, bitter poverty and plummeting coffee prices around the world have made it much more profitable for farmers to chop trees for charcoal, and invest in cash crops, rather than coffee cherries. Now, with coffee consumption up and a shrinking supply of beans worldwide driving up prices, Haitian coffee is once again becoming a hot commodity. But the coffee renaissance has its critics who wonder whether this revival, propped up by foreign aid, can sustain itself after the money runs out. “Our biggest resource is our coffee,” said Archange Mardi, 51, a local farmer in Thiotte, a mountain valley in the southeastern Belle Anse region where the lush landscape is lined with shaded coffee trees growing in back yards, small gardens and family-owned plots. “Before we didn’t understand; now we are beginning to.” Farmers in Thiotte and other coffee producing regions here are gaining access to new global markets, like Italy and Japan, and fetching premium prices for their exported sun-dried coffee. Quality beans from Gwo Chwal, a nearby mountain community known for producing one of Haiti’s best coffee beans, once sold for $.30 a pound. Today, Japanese roasters are buying it for $5.50. “We have a demand that we can never satisfy,” said Robinson Nelson, a local coffee grower and manager of COOPCAB, a cooperative in Thiotte working with more than 5,000 coffee farmers in southeastern, Haiti. The success isn’t just restricted to the southeast. Some 130 miles north, in the rural highland of Port-de-Paix, a smaller but similar coffee cooperative is also growing. This year, Café COCANO farmers are expecting to double exports of their organically grown coffee – already available on the Internet and in Italian espresso shops – to high end South Florida grocers. “Haitian farmers can produce great coffee as long as there is an export chain that works and that can get them a fair price,” said Anthony Vinciguerra, director of St. Thomas University’s Center for Justice and Peace, which has been working with the 300 families who comprise the northwest Haiti coffee growers’ co-op for the past five years. While the northwest farmers have been aided by the South Florida university’s students – they assist with everything from social media and marketing to finding new export markets as part of class assignments – in Thiotte, farmers have benefitted from the attention Haiti received after last year’s devastating earthquake.

Link to Balttimore Tea and Coffee

Fixed! The link is http://www.baltcoffee.com/

Your link to Baltimore

Your link to Baltimore Coffee and Tea doesn't work. Looks like you need an http:// before it

Post new comment