Starting out as farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1965, the Nicolaides family has been involved in coffee in Africa for three generations. Today, the family own and operate Coffeelac, the largest coffee processor and exporter of Arabica coffee in Eastern DRC.
As part of Coffeelac’s commitment to revitalizing the coffee sector in DRC, they build coffee sourcing supply chains (such as collection centers and washing stations), and provide access to finance, and good agricultural practices training for farmers. In 2014, the company completed the construction of its second processing mill, a $1.4 million state-of-the-art coffee processing facility, warehouse, and cupping lab, with a production capacity of over 10,000 metric tons of coffee per year, located in Goma. The facility has assisted in increasing export volume numbers, coffee quality and consistency, thus mobilizing the entire region to establish coffee production as an economic driver.
Objectives of ELAN’s Partnership
Intervention 1 – Coffee
Targeting production and processing level improvements, the initial partnership sought to realize value addition through the refinement and strengthening of training materials, provision of extension in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to an expanded network of producers, and introduction of various forms of sensory and quality analysis equipment.
Intervention 2 – Coffee
Moving into a second phase, objectives for a follow-on program focused on the modification of traceability systems and integration into the Coffeelac supply chain, and a model shift designed to strengthen relationships and bolster producer-exporter engagement through an increase in in-house agronomists and the delivery of support services for producers.