The coffee commodity is continuously faced with various disruptive environmental, social, political, and economic forces. Most of these disruptors are borne by the coffee producing countries that supply the rest of the world. Global warming has reduced viable coffee growing areas and increased the risk of coffee diseases and pests. A volatile commodity price and no guaranteed sale for a years’ worth of growing, coffee farming is far from easy. Yet still despite all this, coffee farming is fundamental for job creation and reducing poverty in all coffee producing countries.
LCM are acutely aware of these issues at origin always in constant contact with our producing and supplying partners. We endeavour to form relationships where we exchange ideas and feedback from our QA staff and coffee traders back to suppliers that care about their producers and the recompense they receive for their work.
Kongo Coffee & Langdon Coffee Merchants
LCM are proud partners with Kongo Coffee, an indigenously owned coffee supplier out of Papua New Guinea. Located in a valley surrounded by majestic mountain vistas including the renowned Mt Elimbari, Kongo Coffees dry mill facilities are a well-established operation. Multiple warehouses store mechanical drying machines, an optical colour sorter and office space for staff that communicate with coffee buyers, deal with payments and exporting procedures.
The LCM and the Kongo team are continuously exchanging information on cupping profiles and defects with this data filtering through the smallholder farmers that Kongo work informing agronomy best practices. What this translates to is not only a better cupping profile and reduced defects, but eases the pain of pests and diseases, and overall produces a higher quality product against coffees of a similar price point. This quality also creates greater margins for the farmers before the green coffee is sold and exported to buying nations.
Along with educating farmers, Kongo Coffee are also generating greater value capture by investing in roasting and packaging equipment to sell their premium specialty coffee domestically. This removes the global trade volatility and provides another value adding service to capture better margins and
selling prices. This has been a growing focus area for Kongo Coffee, initially investing in a 4kg roaster to now running two 15kg roasters to keep up with demand. As of 2021 Kongo Coffee have supplied the local PNG market with over 30 tons of roasted coffee. All this work boosts local economies creating more jobs, reducing poverty, and creating a more sustainable coffee chain.
The Kapka Foundation
The Kapka foundation is a project that highlights the feel-good stories of how impactful this commodity can be. Utilising the reach of Kongo Coffee, the foundation raises funds through its partners and customers that go towards schools, hospitals, churches and women’s and youth groups. Local elementary schools often use the funding to provide post curricular programs, provide school uniforms and other basic amenities that all young children need for their development.
Papua New Guinea’s health care system has become a frightening issue for the country. The foundation is in direct contact with the provincial level of health care that is working towards a more structured approach to a fragmented and underperforming system that is tackling a lack of funding, human resources, and frightening levels of maternal mortality rates.
The community first values of Kongo Coffee are something that resonates strongly with us at LCM. Whilst specialty coffee still has a long way to go in becoming the transparent and sustainable product it promises, the work of Kongo Coffee is a testament to the profound impacts this global commodity can have. Here at LCM, we aspire to form partnerships with suppliers like Kongo Coffee and Specialty Roasters across the globe to promote a prosperous coffee industry. These partnerships are what can help stimulate a more sustainable and equitable supply chain that shifts towards a cooperative value creating approach.