How the Coffee Industry Is Building a Sustainable Supply Chain in an Unstable Region

From insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu

Economists are looking to private-sector investment in developing economies to make up the bulk of global growth in the future. But one limiting factor to growth is these countries’ propensity to break into conflict.

Take the coffee industry. Coffee consumers worldwide are increasingly interested in high-quality, gourmet, artisanal beans. They care where their products come from and how they are sourced. Yet across the global “coffee belt”—Colombia, Nicaragua, Vietnam, South Sudan, and central Africa—specialty coffee is intertwined with a history of conflict.

Few regions compare to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo or DRC). Coffee aficionados’ desire for new regional varietals, as well as the quality of Robusta and Arabica grown there, are generating excitement from buyers.

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