Behind every sip of a great-tasting coffee is the story of a farmer who worked hard to grow these berries with a lot of patience. However, amidst a widespread coffee culture in the UAE, little is known among coffee lovers about the origins and rich history of a fine quality of coffee produced by the Yemeni farmers, and where and how their coffee is produced.
This is the mission of People’s Coffee, a recently launched company established by two Emirati entrepreneurs, Sheikh Dr Majid Al Qassimi and entrepreneur Ali Mansoor Al Ali, who aim to bring the concept of ‘fair-value’ in the buying and selling of this basic commodity in the UAE. The startup is pioneering an ethical and sustainable business model which offers a specialty green and roasted coffee, sourced from Yemeni farmers whom they want to help improve their quality of life.
Defined by connoisseurs for its distinctive flavours and fruity taste, the Yemeni coffee has been notable which dates back to ancient times. Coffee farmers across the world face major challenges – from climate change to unfair trading – these issues have come to light in recent years, with Fair Trade becoming a norm in the coffee industry. Yet Yemeni coffee farmers are among them who have taken little attention from the global coffee culture.
People’s Coffee would like to be known as the ‘Fair Value Coffee Traders’ and has created a system where financial returns from the sale of the coffee are distributed equally across the supply chain. They work closely with farmers through their operations center in Haraz, Yemen, to carry their coffee to international consumers.
Sheikh Dr Majid Al Qassimi, who has a background in agriculture and had worked with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change as an advisor, was inspired of his discovery of “the world’s first coffee” in Yemen with origins traced back to over 500 years ago.
“People’s Coffee is for everyone – whether it is those who produce it, sell it or consume it. In that way, we believe that there is a strong message and mission behind this brand. With the consumption levels and culture here, we have created a premium, Yemeni-sourced coffee product of the quality that consumers expect, while simultaneously helping the farmers who work very hard to bring it to the world,” said Sheikh Dr Al Qassimi in an interview.
Haraz, Yemen is situated in a mountain area about 1,800-2,450 metres above sea level, and is considered to carry a rich heritage of coffee farming which use to date the same organic system.