Partnership with Saint Thomas University helps bring Haiti's coffee to the global market

Coffee used to be Haiti's main agricultural industry; the country is also one of the Caribbean's oldest and original coffee producers. Yet Haitian coffee has been overlooked and unrecognized in the world market. This is due to the difficulty in entering Haitian coffee to the international market, as well as the lack of benefits given to local coffee growers, thus a decline in local production. But recently, new light and hope has been given to the country's declining coffee industry.


The Haitian government, in partnership with Saint Thomas University, launched the Café COCANO Fair-Trade Coffee Project five years ago and has since been able to help boost Haiti's coffee market and assist local farmers in production and compensation. This project is also in partnership with the Cafeiere et Cacouyere du Nord' Ouest Coffee Cooperative, Pascucci Torrefazione, an Italian coffee roaster, and the University's Center for Peace and Justice.

The project currently aims to remove the middlemen in the coffee trade in Haiti in order to give local farmers, especially in the North-West department, the opportunity to directly do business and market their produce to American and European businesses and companies. Years back, the farmers only received 65 cents per pound of their coffee produce. But now, thanks to the project's suggested direct trade process, these farmers enjoy 4 dollars per pound.

Haiti's coffee exports dramatically dropped from 190,000 bags to a mere 16,000 bags in just 20 years. According to the institutions behind the Café COCANO Fair-Trade Coffee Project, this will change in the next few years to come.

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