July 2014: Coffee growers of the Mbokomu Rural Cooperative Society in Tanzania this week received a brand new pulper with all the bells and whistles as a tangible return on the CSR efforts that marks the first anniversary of Protea Hotels switching over to "Relationship Filter Coffee".
The handover in Tanzania is being done in conjunction with the hotel group's primary coffee supplier Ciro and will be hosting representatives of the local key role players in coffee in the Moshi area.
Relationship coffee is a form of social development that is spreading through the global coffee industry and relates to assisting the farmers and their farming communities in various projects to help improve the quality of coffee production.
The initiative between Ciro and Protea Hotels aims to ensure that all resources involved in the coffee production process are benefitted. The Mbokomu Rural Cooperative Society will benefit through receiving its first donated coffee pulper which will assist in the ongoing project of improving the quality of coffee processed at farm level.
Mbokomu RCS was established in 1985 with 1 051 registered famers on small mountain farms located between 3 000m and 4 000m above sea level. The Mbokomu RSC farmers produce about 15 000kg of coffee per season.
Protea Hotels Group Marketing Manager, Nicholas Barenblatt, says the massive logistical feat of switching coffee across all hotels in the group last year was more than made worth it by knowledge of what this one machine will mean to more than 1 000 families.
"Well-structured Corporate Social Responsibility is the smart way to business and it's the only way to do business.
"With a group as large as Protea Hotels we have so many opportunities to work for the good of our local and extended communities. We're immensely proud of what the simple act of pouring that hot and satisfying morning cup of filter coffee for our GUESTS has achieved for this farming cooperative in the space of just one year."
Lani Snyman, Training, Research and Development Manager for Ciro's Coffee Academy says: "Protea Hotels has proven its commitment towards improving each hotel’s in-cup quality by investing in their staff with barista training, switching to Fairtrade espresso and now investing back at Tanzanian origin with their Relationship Filter Coffee Project. The group's passion for not only coffee, but people too, is commendable."
Protea Hotels Gauteng Regional Manager Joe Segers handed over the pulper to the community upon returning from climbing Kilimanjaro.
Barenblatt says this will be the first of many such handovers in future as a tangible result of Protea Hotels' serving Relationship Filter Coffee.