Hidden in the dense rainforests that stretch across the southwest border of Uganda, dwells a gentle giant that has intrigued and amazed the world for hundreds of years. Uganda is home to half of the remaining estimated 1,063 mountain gorillas alive today, but struggling for a tomorrow. Surrounding their protected habitat are isolated and impoverished communities. Due to their close proximity both inside and outside the national park, preventable infectious diseases are being spread between humans, gorillas and livestock. This along with habitat encroachment, poaching and economic instability, is threatening the existence of the mountain gorilla.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee was launched after Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka visited farmers living adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Here she learned that the farmers were not being given a fair price for their coffee and were struggling hard to survive, forcing them to use the national park to meet their basic family needs for food and fuel wood.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee is a social enterprise of Conservation Through Public Health, founded by Dr. Gladys, who was the first Wildlife Veterinary Officer of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Dr. Gladys recently became a National Geographic Explorer and winner of the Sierra Club’s 2018 EarthCare Award.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee pays a premium of $0.50 per kilo above the market price to coffee farmers living next door to the gorillas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla Conservation Coffee further supports the farmers through training in sustainable coffee farming and processing. This helps to improve the coffee quality and increase production yield. Supporting local farmers helps to protect the endangered gorillas and their fragile habitat. Gorilla Conservation Coffee makes a special effort to support women coffee farmers, helping to provide opportunities for women’s economic empowerment, disrupt male financial dominance and break ingrained stereotypes in the communities.
The coffee is 100% premium Arabica that is selectively harvested for only red ripe cherries, hand picked, wet processed and dried under shade. Our coffee is tested for quality parameters at every level. The coffee is roasted medium and packed to the highest quality standards. Each cup has a unique aroma with hints of caramel, butter notes and almond, with a citrus taste and a sweet finish. Our first brand is named after Kanyonyi, the former lead silverback of the Mubare gorilla group located in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
Conservation Through Public Health is working with Uganda Wildlife Authority, local communities and other organizations, to improve education, healthcare and livelihoods, so that humans and mountain gorillas – like Kanyonyi and his family – can coexist.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee has been expanding since its inception and is delighted to have a dedicated website for customers in the United States and North America, Gorilla Conservation Coffee USA (GCC USA). GCC USA operates out of Huntington, NY and is thrilled to reintroduce our coffee to the broader global market in 2021 after an almost yearlong absence in the US. 20% of the net profit sold on each item by GCC USA will be donated to CTPH to support the work of CTPH.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee is the first Ugandan coffee expressly created to help conserve the mountain gorillas by directly supporting farmers living around the gorillas’ habitat.