Made for coffee drinkers who like it classic. An intense and full-bodied coffee with aromas of dark chocolate and slightly spicy.
The Kivu region in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most conflict-ridden and poorest regions in the world. For years, the people there have suffered from a war that has affected various armed groups, the Congolese army and UN peacekeepers. The violence has led to displacement, human rights violations and humanitarian crises. According to the Caritas aid organization, more than 5 million people were displaced in 2022 alone.
In fact, there is hope and beauty in the midst of this difficult situation. The Kivu region borders Virunga National Park, the oldest in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to a unique biodiversity, including the endangered mountain gorillas, which are found exclusively here and in a few other areas. The park is also an important source of clean water, wood and energy for the local population.
Another resource that the national park and its surrounding areas offer is coffee. The high altitudes, volcanic rock and humid climate are ideal for growing high quality Arabica coffee. Coffee cultivation in the region has a long tradition that dates back to colonial times. However, due to poor infrastructure, little technical know-how and, above all, the lack of market access due to war and crises, the local population has not yet been able to adequately benefit from this potential.
Kivu region, Democratic Republic of Congo
Together with our partner African Coffee Roaster we want to change this. By purchasing green coffee, we create and maintain jobs and therefore livelihoods for up to 6,000 local families in the region. We were excited about the quality of Congolese coffee and developed two new products. From now on, our classic espresso and our Café Crème only contain organic coffee from the Virunga Coffee Cooperative, which is located in the northern Kivu region.
We are aware of our responsibility, but we also look forward to working with the farmers of the Kivu region. At this point we would like to add a note about our self-image as the Coffee Annan team: 'Direct Trade', i.e. direct trade without multinational intermediaries, is deeply rooted in our DNA. Now the current situation in the east of the DR Congo makes it difficult to visit the cooperative. Almost insurmountable distances by land between the capital Kinshasa and Kivu, frequent hostage-taking, repeatedly closed borders with Rwanda and Uganda, checkpoints by armed groups, unsafe air traffic, the list is unfortunately too long. These are the same obstacles that currently make on-site roasting impossible. However, in keeping with the United Nations' sustainability goals, we form partnerships to achieve the goals. Therefore, the coffee is roasted in our partner roastery in Kenya. In this way, we ensure that we can promote the economy in Congo, despite the current conflicts, and at the same time secure qualified jobs in Kenya. Of course, we are monitoring the situation closely and constantly reassessing it. In addition, we are in regular contact with all of our partners.
We want to show that it is possible to produce high-quality coffee from a region that is primarily known for its problems and build a bridge between coffee producers in the Kivu region and coffee lovers worldwide. It is an initiative that promotes the local economy and offers an alternative to poverty and conflict.