Blog | Producer Spotlight: Congo Mapendo

Category: Our Coffees

Published: March 8, 2022

To continue our celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re featuring a women-produced coffee from South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The farmers who grow this coffee make a daily living in the midst of the ongoing Kivu conflict in Congo; in fact, many of the farmers from this origin are widowed. Mapendo, the Swahili word for “love,” is a rallying cry against this violence, to build lives rather than destroy them.

Since such a large portion of these farmers are women, gender justice is a cornerstone for this collective. They have worked with Oxfam to enable Gender Action Learning Systems, a nonprofit initiative to improve the quality of life for women workers, who are statistically the most economically disadvantaged in the coffee value chain. One such farmer, Charlotte Fikiri, has been able to independently build a house and expand her farm with the income from this coffee.

The Women Farmers of Mapendo

Photo courtesy of MNKF Creative and Mighty Peace Coffee

The coffee itself is a washed SL34 variety with a mixed fermentation process; its tasting notes are clementine, berry, honey, and plum. High-altitude SL34 coffees from Central Africa, such as this, are exceptional in their juicy profile. On top of everything, this coffee has been Fair Trade certified since 2009 – it’s a true double impact of excellent quality and social conscience.

Harvesting Coffee Cherries

Photo courtesy of MNKF Creative and Mighty Peace Coffee