An Update from Burundi:
Starting to Sow the Seeds of Trees For Kibira!
We say it often but traceability and sustainability runs at the core of CMCR’s business particularly when it comes to sourcing our coffee. This year we took a new step to building a meaningful and lasting relationship with one of our origins by partnering with the Long Miles Coffee Project (LMCP) to support their reforestation project, Trees for Kibira.
The aim is to establish a new green belt to wrap around and through the coffee producing communities of the Kayanza region. This will help build soil health and bolster the existing microclimates against raising temperatures as well as give much needed shade to the farmers and coffee growers that call this region home.
How are we doing this?
The vision is to expand and renew life to the Kibira Forest by planting new seedlings and investing in the community to manage and protect the forest for years to come. This is not a short term project, it will run for at least 30 years and in reality it’s an investment in a community for a lifetime.
What’s been happening?
CMCR kicked off the project in May 2018 with a series of events across Singapore and Malaysia. The biggest event was our coffee day on 12th May on which we managed to raise $13,148.50!
We’d like to thank our amazing café partners who made the day possible in both Singapore and Malaysia - The Lokal, The Glasshouse, Whisk, Room 203, China House Penang and Milligram Coffee as well as our own cafes.
Five Senses Australia (FSA) followed up with their own coffee day across Australia which saw them raise AUD$9,140 with the support of Howdy Coffee, Hush Specialty Coffee, Three Bags Full, Touchwood, West Juliett, Regiment, Drummer Boy Cafe, Whistle & Flute & Bunker Coffee.
In June, the CMCR team met up with FSA and LMCP project in Burundi to learn a little more about the project, the community we are supporting and of course the coffee that this is all ultimately about. It was quite a bumpy road (literally) heading upcountry to see the Kibira forest but it’s amazing to see first hand the 1,360 seedlings that had been quietly growing in the nursery and the site of the project itself. It was also very encouraging to speak to the communities and rangers that live and work in this forest to hear what it means to them and how our contribution can help affect change in their lives.
On 27th September the project was officially launched with the appointing of Matthew Gates as Trees for Kibira Project Manager by LMPC.
Bringing with him a wealth of agro-forestry knowledge, Matthew pushed the project forward to the next stage with the planting of 60,000 seedling, including 150 indigenous cashew trees. These seedlings are now happily living in their germoirs awaiting the next stage of their exciting journey!
On 2nd November, the first tree was planted at the farm! LMCP’s team then spent the rest of November contouring and terracing the model farms on Nkonge and Gitwe, as well as using their network of ‘Farmer Friends’ to discuss tree planting strategies and design a community programme going forward. Soon 60,000 trees will have a home in fields and spaces in between the edge of the Kibira Forest and Heza washing station with a new network of ‘Farmer Friends’ emerging.
The plan is to building on this next year with the launch of a 'Forest Scout' programme alongside LMCP’s Coffee Scout programme with a team who are dedicated to the reforestation project.
It’s very exciting for us at CMCR to hear of the work that is being done in Burundi to ensure that this dynamic region continues to thrive, and selfishly(!), provide us with some of the most delicious coffee of 2018 – we’re looking at you Nkonge Hill! We’re looking forward to working with LMCP for years to come and sharing the stories of this amazing project with you as we aim to invest in not only great coffee but good people too!