Democratic Republic of Congo, Sopacdi  

The first coffee in the DR Congo to achieve top national grade – Kivu 2 – since 1967 Specialty fully-washed arabica coffee Organic certification FLO certification number 26275 Main harvest from March to June; fly crop from September to October Shipments from June to December Altitude 1460m to over 2000 metres above sea level . SOPACDI represents over 5600 farmers from different ethnic groups in the Kivu Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, producing some of the finest coffee in Africa.  After years of conflict and civil war, their coffee promotes working together for a better future.  It is a time of great change and hope for us. Many farmers had to leave their land for safety during the conflict years. Before farmers had no choice but to sell their coffee to smugglers or smuggle it themselves across Lake Kivu into Rwanda. It was very dangerous and many farmers lost their lives. Eleven years ago a group of farmers came together to look for a way forward.  They decided that producing and marketing the finest coffee was the answer. They experimented, and were able to produce just a few tons in the beginning. They found their first buyer in 2008, who was amazed by the quality of their coffee. Since then, the momentum has been building and they have begun renovating farms, and have achieved international fairtrade and organic certifications. Many families have returned to their homes and have joined the cooperative.    Around 20% of their coffee farmers are women, many of them are widows whose husbands drowned smuggling coffee to barter for food and everyday essentials.   Sopacdi’s female members receive a price premium for coffee delivered to the cooperative. The solidarity and price premiums will enable them to provide for their families.