Uganda is the biggest coffee exporting country in Africa, yet the average size of a coffee farm is less than 0,25 hectare – just a quarter the size of a football field. It’s not easy to run a profitable farm with such small resources. To help support economic independence of farmers, as well as more sustainable farming practices, IKEA has teamed up with a regional coffee project. As a result, we’re now introducing our first ever single-origin coffee to the IKEA Swedish Food Market: 100% Arabica beans from the White Nile region. A special coffee with a unique taste, created in cooperation with thousands of small-scale farmers.
At IKEA, we’re always looking for social entrepreneurs or business models that share our vision. The White Nile project is one such initiative, and one where we see an opportunity for a positive, long-term partnership. The project started out almost 20 years ago, to promote the cultivation of high quality Arabica coffee in a region known as the producer of less favored beans. By supporting the initiative, IKEA contributes to the economic empowerment of farmers and their families.
We believe in the importance of inclusion of women and youth to support sustainable livelihoods. The White Nile project encourages a more equal share of responsibilities in both farmers’ businesses and family households as well as shared access to resources to increase women’s independence. But it’s also about seeing the everyday life challenges, for example that access to water directly at the coffee processing site minimizes the need for long walks to fetch it elsewhere.
Through addressing these and many more issues, coffee farming will hopefully be an attractive business for generations to come.
By making a long-term commitment to the White Nile farmers growing Arabica beans, we’re entering a partnership where everyone’s a winner. The special PÅTÅR coffee isn’t a charity project – it’s a business opportunity. Together with our supplier and through our IKEA stores, the farmers get to sell their product and we gain a high-quality, tasty coffee.
However, since there isn’t yet enough Arabica coming from the White Nile region to allow sales in all IKEA stores worldwide, this special edition is sold in a number of selected countries only. As the coffee crop grows, we hope to increase that number.
Just like all other members of the PÅTÅR series, the Ugandan special edition is UTZ certified and organic according to EU standards. In short that means higher yields, better incomes and better living conditions for farmers, as well as protection of the environment and natural resources such as water, soil and air.
As a customer, you can check the origin of your coffee, and learn more about the plantations where the beans were grown, via the online tracer, utz.org/IKEA.
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