Tuesday, October 19th, 2021
The Gorilla Coffee Alliance was launched today by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Nespresso; Olam Food Ingredients (OFI); international nonprofits, TechnoServe and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and Congolese social enterprise, Asili. Over five years, this initiative will partner with 8,500 farming households to improve their coffee production and sales and reduce poaching and deforestation around Kahuzi-Biega National Park in DRC’s South Kivu province.
On the occasion USAID DRC Mission Director Paul Sabatine noted “USAID’s launch of the Gorilla Coffee Alliance is a critical milestone for the U.S. Government’s partnership with the Congolese people and the product of over a decade of USAID’s investment in working alongside Congolese farmers to replant coffee trees in a conflict-ravaged region. Revitalizing DRC’s coffee sector makes me proud to co-invest alongside Nespresso and OFI, particularly given our common desire to promote sustainable livelihoods by protecting Congo’s wildlife and natural resources.”
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few remaining habitats of the world’s 6,800 estimated remaining eastern lowland or Grauer’s gorillas. But, political unrest, population growth, and the absence of sustainable economic opportunities in the area have put the national park and the wildlife it protects at risk from illegal logging, poaching, and mining.
The Gorilla Coffee Alliance aims to address this challenge by helping local families to establish environmentally sustainable ways to earn income, improving access to essential health services, and working with community institutions to become advocates for conserving the national park. The Alliance will improve total farm productivity to support farmer revenues and protect long- term soil health, biodiversity, and the vital ecological function of one of the world’s largest forests.