The first country to cultivate and export coffee at scale, Yemen has a long and deep history with coffee production, even lending the name of it’s famous historic port (Al-Mokha) to our favourite combination of coffee and chocolate.
Modern day production in Yemen, however, is synonymous with difficulty, danger and low qualities and quantities. Farm practices (no pruning , old trees, keeping dried cherry for years before sale as a bank) have built up a significant issues with quality and production level in the supply chain. Small farms with little to no development offer tiny incomes, which in turn means that farmers cannot reinvest. This is, of course, compounded by the huge humanitarian issues the country is experiencing due to the ongoing war, with fertilizers banned in the country-wide embargo to prevent them being used to make IED’s and bombs.
We are working with our partners at Qima Coffee and the village of Bani Ofair, near Dhamar in Western Yemen, on a long term development project to begin to address these issues. Qima operate central processing units, buying ripe cherry from farmers to massively increase their incomes and drive export quality. This results in some of the highest quality coffees available in the world. We have paid a premium on all of the coffees we purchased from Bani Ofair to build 3x 500m3 Water Reservoirs and an Irrigation Network for the community. This will increase yields and decrease costs of production, increasing smallholder profits year on year.