The Kiwi Importer Announces Partnership with Yemeni Coffee Farmers

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The Kiwi Importer is a natural and gourmet online food retailer based in Houston, who has just joined forces with a group of Yemeni coffee farmers in the Haraaz Mountains region to bring renowned Yemeni coffee to the USA.

Shabbir Ezzi welcomed to The Kiwi Importer office in Houston Texas

Connecting Yemeni coffee farmers with the global market is the key to peace, economic growth and stability in the region.

Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, has unfortunately been viewed in negative light recently, however, this unstable war-torn economy has little chance of recovery without the opportunity for commerce.

"Sustainable agriculture and connecting Yemeni coffee farmers with the global market is a step towards peace, economic growth and stability in the region," said Sarah Ayala, the owner of The Kiwi Importer who has recently joined forces with a Yemeni coffee farmers cooperative to bring the unique Haraaz coffee to the United States.

The Haraaz coffee project was started by Shabbir Ezzi in 2007 who when visiting Haraaz with his wife in 2006, was struck by the beauty of the Haraaz mountains and touched by the plight of the struggling local farmers. One of the biggest issues that negatively impacts the development of the Yemen is qaat – a narcotic which has become a common addiction, particularly among young men in the region. Much of the arable land is overtaken by qaat. "The Haraaz coffee project is about getting better revenues from coffee to make the growers less dependent on qaat growing," explains Mr Ezzi. Profits from the project have built paved roads, water treatment facilities, a hospital and school enabling farming families to have a sustainable future in the industry. "Our commitment is to pay a fair price to the farmers," said Mr Ezzi, "and develop sustainable agriculture and long-term health for the Haraaz mountain communities."

Yemeni coffee is renowned for being rich and smooth. This coffee is grown under extremely dry conditions, on stone terraces at high elevations. Growing conditions like these mean the plants grow more slowly giving the beans a richer more concentrated flavor.

Yemen is the birthplace of coffee. First cultivated by Sufi Monks, who made the marvelous discovery that the seed in the coffee cherries could be roasted, ground and made into an beverage which has been invigorating and inspiring the world since.

The Harraz coffee is medium to dark roasted by a local Houston coffee roaster familiar with Yemeni beans.

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Sarah Ayala

Sarah Ayala
since: 02/2016
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