Our Indian Gems of Araku hails from the Araku valley in the Eastern Ghats of the Andhra Pradesh region and is populated by some of the oldest indigenous tribes in India. Coffee was introduced to the region in 1920, however until recent years the growth of coffee trees in the region has not been particularly successful due to lack of education in regards to the growing of coffee and poor overall management. As a result for many years the tribes in the Araku valley have been among the poorest in India.
To try and combat this situation the Naandi foundation, alongside local government organisations, put a lot of effort into helping the farmers. They helped them to form a cooperative which gave them more bargaining power, the ability to cut out the middleman, which in results rises their income. They have also worked to restore nutrients in the soil, replant shade trees, train the local farmers in organic and biodynamic practices and investing in state of the art processing units.
The result of all this work is that they now have 11000 members in the Araku valley region and within the organisation women are on the board of directors and receive equal pay. They also receive around four times the price for their coffee than they previously did, and there is around 13000 acres of land being farmed under organic and biodynamic practices.
They hold annual tasting events to which they invite coffee experts from around the world. This event is called the ‘Gems of Araku’ and is where our coffee gets its name from.