India’s first tribal growers’ organic coffee brand was launched in the Araku Valley on Friday by Union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh. The Araku Emerald brand was derived from the only coffee in India to be grown by a tribal co-operative and to have received both an international and a Fair Trade certification. Some 4,000 tribals were present at the launch.
The Araku Emerald brand will be ready for export soon after certification by accredited agencies. It will compete with the best organic and Fair-Trade certified coffees in the world. The minister also inaugurated the Araku Coffee Processing Unit near Vishakapatnam. The unit will provide quality processing for 200 tonnes this season and 600 the next.
The production of Araku Emerald premium organic coffee is part of the Tribal Livelihoods programme being facilitated by Naandi foundation in collaboration with the Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Paderu, the Coffee Board and international experts in coffee quality-control and in biodynamic and organic products.
The minister hoped that this project would, over the next five years, benefit 50,000 small and marginal farmers across 50,000 acres. Some nine months ago, M:r Ramesh had visited Araku Valley and suggested that this be developed as one of India’s leading organic-coffee producing tribal co-operatives.