Getting ready to go in search of a new origin for Source Climate Change Coffee- Tanzania here we come!

As I write this, I am preparing to leave for warmer climates once more. This time, Tanzania, better known as the land of a thousand safaris and home to the Maasai warrior! Yes folks, you can find them in Northern Tanzania too… But why Tanzania? Did you know that:

  • Almost 38 % of the country is forested? Imagine 33,5 million hectares of land, the same size as the United Kingdom AND Ireland covered in rainforests!
  • These forests have over 1,890 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. Of these, about 170 are endemic. That means that they exist only in the Tanzanian rainforest. And sadly, of these, roughly 110 are at risk of extinction.
  • The forest is disappearing at an alarming rate, between 1990 and 2010, Tanzania lost almost 20% of its rainforest cover. These forests are increasingly threatened by the need of a rapidly expanding population for fuel wood, as well as commercial felling of timber and expanding agriculture which makes up 58% of Gross National Product.
It’s difficult when the forest is actually a major source of revenue for the country. We do need to put some mechanisms into place that make the forest more valuable as a standing resource. But the conservationists, the scientists and the commercial stakeholders are still working their way through how to do this. I’m afraid there is no easy answer. On a more positive note, Tanzania is the second largest producer of coffee after Ethiopia.  70% of the coffee it produces is great quality Arabica and 30% is Robusta. So there’s some manoeuvring there in terms of bringing interesting tastes out of the region. Most coffee is grown by small farmers on small plots of land, which potentially adds to its long term sustainability. So lots of good things to look forward to!

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