Sustainability Coffee Program – DRC

After many years of investing primarily in DRC export operations, Coffeelac returned to its roots in 2015, and began investing further down the supply chain through the development of their own direct sourcing channels. During the first year of investment, Coffeelac focused on 2 mini washing stations in North and South Kivu, and several collection and buying centers throughout their areas of operation. After only one year, in 2016 Coffeelac is on track to export 115.2 metric tons from the DRC in 2016.

Its long-term goals are to:

  1. Create 100% traceable coffee sourcing supply channels for both commercial and premium quality coffees, whilst creating economic and social value addition to the network of smallholder household producers in our supply chain.
  2. Create value addition for all our clients and partners within our supply chain in order to secure long-term volume growth, quality consistency and price transparency.
“ Scalability of a traceable supply chain is the key to creating social & economic impact for coffee farmers ”
This is accomplished through the following integral elements:
farmer engagement:

Coffeelac works directly with individual farmers, small enterprises and farmer groups, to whom they provide training and financing. Under Coffeelac’s “Lead Farmer” model, farmers are organized into small groups of 30-50 farmers who are trained and monitored by a Lead Farmer, who is trained directly by Coffeelac.monitored by a Lead Farmer, who is trained directly by GLC.

 Traceability/information management

Farmers are trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Financial Literacy and Traceability/Recordkeeping.

 Training program

Coffeelac’s systems have been designed to ensure traceability from the farmer to the buyer. Farmers and employees are trained in recordkeeping to ensure coffee is traceable throughout the supply

 Buying/pricing strategy

Coffeelac buys coffee from farmers through Collection Centers or Washing Stations where farmers deliver coffee. Coffeelac uses a transparent buying/pricing strategy, listing the daily price at every Collection Center and paying farmers prices that are dependent on coffee quality. Farmers receive a 1st payment for their coffee, which is subsequently processed locally and exported internationally by Coffeelac.

Second payment for premium coffee:

In DRC, most farmers receive the same price for their coffee without consideration for coffee quality. As a result, farmers who devote much time and effort to producing a higher quality coffee become demotivated as his/her efforts are not rewarded with a higher price. Farmers, who are encouraged by Coffeelac to use GAP to improve their coffee quality, receive a 2nd payment for high quality.