I’m joined this week by Mary Lansden Rees-Jones (formerly Brewbaker), one of the founders and the current Managing Director at Good Grounds Coffee Co.
Good Grounds is a coffee pre-financing, export/trading company based in Congo and the United States. Mary and her husband Huw, along with their business partner Dan, have developed a sole partnership with a coffee cooperative on Idwji Island, Congo that employs former Congolese rebels in an effort to bring peace to a place that has known war for far too long.
Mary and Huw live in nearby Rwanda – a three hour drive and one hour boat ride away from where the Idwji coffee beans are grown. I got the chance to speak with Mary at length about Good Grounds, Fair Trade, and what the future holds for coffee in Congo.
Please support Good Grounds Coffee Co. by contributing to their Indigogo page, here.
More about Good Grounds (from their About Page):
Our purpose is to transform the lives of former Congolese rebels by giving them the option to lay down their guns. In Congo employment is scarce, so men join rebel groups to provide for their families. Good Grounds brings lasting change in both the short and long run by providing cooperatives with cash to process cherries and export beans to roasters and consumers in North America. We also guarantee the purchase of all the coffee we pre-finance, eliminating risk for smallholder farmers.
Rather than starting anew, Good Grounds builds relationships with local cooperatives composed of former rebels and rebel widows. Good Grounds is focused on quality because we believe in sustainable business and we know that our market demands only the best.
Now that we’re back on schedule, The Boise Coffee Podcast will be returning to a bi-weekly release schedule. Thanks for your patience!
The Coffee Guy