VEVEY, Switzerland – Nespresso launched Kahawa ya Congo – a smooth and fruity organic coffee made possible only through the unique brand’s Reviving Origins program, which aims to revitalize coffee production in regions impacted by adversities ranging from climate change to conflict. The first organic blend under the Reviving Origins program, Kahawa ya Congo, is from the Lake Kivu region, where the once-thriving coffee farming community has been devastated by decades of political and economic instability.
Since its launch in 2019, the Reviving Origins program has enabled the production of exquisite coffees from areas of Zimbabwe, Uganda, Colombia and now, the DRC, to become available as seasonal coffees for Nespresso coffee drinkers.
In 1980, coffee was the second most important export for DRC and ranked among the world’s finest but declined in the early 2000s due to years of instability that had a devastating impact on the industry. Volumes have since dropped by 10 times.
Nespresso, together with global non-profit TechnoServe, the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) and coffee trader Virunga Coffee/Olam International, is working with 2,500 farmers in South Kivu to improve coffee quality and yield, and embed sustainable farming practices, while increasing incomes. Nespresso is also in the process of expanding the program across North Kivu to potentially include up to 1,700 organic certified farmers.
Paulo Barone, Head of Coffee Sustainability and Origins Development at Nespresso, said: “Kivu has the potential to be among the world’s great coffee regions but has faced extremely challenging conditions in recent years. Through our Reviving Origins program, we’re working closely with Congolese farmers to revitalise the sector, restore Kivu as a leading source of high-quality, exceptional Arabica coffee and rebuild sustainable livelihoods, while bringing vital social support to enhance the welfare of the communities behind our KAHAWA ya CONGO coffee.”
Paul Sabatine, Mission Director for USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: “Nespresso’s partnership with USAID to revitalize DRC’s coffee sector is critical for Congolese farmers, who now have better coffee quality, improved productivity and higher incomes. Communities have experienced stronger economic development due to the partnership, in a region where absence of sustainable livelihoods fuels conflict. We look forward to a continued collaboration with Nespresso as we jointly seek to improve farmers’ livelihoods.”
Will Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe, added: “This coffee represents the incredible spirit of Congolese farmers who have overcome so much to build a better life for their families. In working with these farmers to improve their coffee crops, TechnoServe has seen how dedicated buyers like Nespresso, who pay higher prices for higher quality, can transform the livelihoods of thousands of people in this conflict-affected region. We’re looking forward to a bright future for Congolese coffee and for the hardworking farmers who produce it.”
Kivu coffee farmer, Turanyi Kabasura, said: “I see my remaining days being better than those in the past, because I am going to work, assured of receiving regular pay and a bonus each time after the coffee sale. In my whole life, no one has ever given me such a bonus. I can use that to develop other strategies, such as raising small livestock, or my wife can run a small business. I am starting to see the results of my work.”
Kahawa ya Congo: “Hope of Congo”
The rain-rich volcanic soils along the Kivu lakeshores of Eastern Congo provide an ideal environment for growing specialty Arabica coffee. The first organic coffee in the Reviving Origins range, KAHAWA ya CONGO is a smooth, seasonal coffee with a mild, fruity note, and alluring sweet cereal and nutty aromas. Available in both Original and Vertuo ranges, it has an intensity of 8 as a Double Espresso in Original and 7 in Mug size for Vertuo. For more information about KAHAWA ya CONGO, visit www.nespresso.com.