The Gorilla Coffee Alliance, established by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Nespresso and Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) and others, will mentor 8,500 farmers in South Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to maximize their coffee production and sales by 2026.
Vivek Verma, managing director and CEO of coffee for OFI, tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “The land provides an ideal environment for speciality arabica cultivation, with ideal temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and rainfall.”
Additionally, it is located at a high elevation and has fertile volcanic soils. “These natural conditions endow the coffees produced in the region with exceptional characteristics, including a balanced body, a high acidity, and fruity and juicy notes,” Verma explains.
The entire region of South Kivu produces approximately 40 to 45 containers per year.
The capacity of participating coffee washing stations is expected to double in the next five years.
The initiative aims to rehabilitate coffee production in areas afflicted by adversity, such as climate change and conflict.
The launch, according to Paul Sabatine, director of USAID’s DRC Mission, is a “critical milestone” in the US government’s partnership with the Congolese people. The association is the result of more than a decade of investment in replanting coffee trees alongside these farmers in a region devastated by conflict.