As a coffee roasting business who is directly invested in our cooperatively-owned importer, Higher Grounds aims to support our farming partners every step of the way. So when the farmers of Manos Campesinas in Guatemala invited Cooperative Coffees’ roasters to come taste and evaluate the results of some experimental planting they did three years ago, we couldn’t resist the opportunity.
Congolese farmers, including those who are now members of the Kawa Kanzururu cooperative, were forced to smuggle their coffee across borders to find buyers. They’ve had no support from the international buying community, and their productivity and infrastructure suffered. But now, the door is open for development and a better future for these communities.
Through our exploration of Congolese coffee and relationships developed there over the past few years, we have been introduced to the farmers of Kawa Kanzururu--a young cooperative demonstrating an innovative economic model for surrounding communities--and also to the incredible work of the Virunga Alliance, which provides essential jobs, protects biodiversity, and guards critically endangered mountain gorillas within Virunga National Park. Here at Higher Grounds, we want to shine a light on those who have begun to rebuild the infrastructure necessary for sharing the DRC's incredible coffee with the world.
We recently had the pleasure of hosting our friends Sarah and Stephanie from 9&10 News at the Coffee Bar and Roastery. Below is a recap from their early morning visit. We look forward to spreading the word on what's happening around Higher Grounds this season!