Located on the shores of Lake Kivu, in the eastern region of DR Congo, SOPACDI was founded in 2003 and started exporting coffee in 2008. At 1460 – 1900 meters above sea level, SOPACDI is situated in an ideal region to grow high quality coffee. It was the first organization of small scale farmers to achieve Fair Trade and Organic certification in Eastern Congo, and, the first to export specialty grade coffee. The Congolese gained independence in the 1960’s, and with that a decline in stability began, with constant conflict and civil war over a period of years. Many farmers fled and abandoned their farms during that time. Today, although the situation remains unstable, many farmers are looking to rebuild their lives through agriculture. In 2015, SOPACDI had 7,451 farmer/members whose spirit is stronger than ever, working together to provide a sustainable livelihood. SOPACDI members work hard every day in order to improve the quality of the coffee they produce, and to improve traceability. On average a member grows 1.64 hectares and the cooperative exports up to 20 containers to Europe and the US. The cooperative exports two types of coffees: Grade 2 fully washed is coffee that is collectively processed in the cooperative wet-mills (farmers deliver cherries), Grade 4 coffee is processed at farms level by farmers and they deliver dried parchment to the cooperative. Once processed in South Kivu, the dry parchment is sorted at Jumbo Safari dry mill in Goma. This is from Goma that the coffee is loaded on truck to make the long journey to Mombassa (Kenya) port.
Solidarité pour la Promotion des Actions Café et le Développement Intégral
Social Premium Investment: 2019 Crop YearFair Trade Certification guarantees 20 cents/lb of the price paid a producer organization is set aside as a social premium. How this money is invested is a decision taken collectively by the general assembly of members at the end of each harvest. Below is a break down of how producers in this organization chose to spend their fair trade premium.
Improve YieldsThe cooperative has produced and distributed 1,030,000 coffee seedlings and 145,000 shade trees to promote systems of agroforestry with members and to renovate their farms.
EducationFInancing the construction of a three room school house aimed at supporting pygmy children, a group that has been historically marginalised in DR Congo. They distributed school kits to around 130 students.
Healthcare supportHealthcare fund to support 32 vulnerable women to cover primary health care and maternity costs.
OperationsLand tax payment on plot of land managed as a demonstrative farm by the cooperative.