In 2000 we began our partnership with Oxfam Italia (at the time named "Ucodep") to support them in their project “Vivir la montaña”, which
In those years the farmers of the Dominican Republic had been severely affected by low coffee prices and forced to leave their mountains in search of a better future, which never materialized. This was especially true for the province of Salcedo, one of the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic.
Through the project farmers were organized, trained and gathered in a consortium that produced a top quality coffee with the name "Jamao", named of a river in the area, and with a brand that recalled directly the four elements of the project: the farmers, coffee, mountains, biodiversity.
Our participation was both technical and commercial. In fact, we collaborated to define a production protocol, which somehow was inspired by those used in Tuscany for the production of olive oil and wine, bringing mainly our knowledge of the coffee and the quality system based on ISO9000 standards. Moreover, we represented the only commercial channel through which the coffee farmers of Salcedo was exported. In fact Jamao reached Europe and indeed became particularly known in Denmark, where it was appreciated for its quality and its biological and fair being.
Currently all the coffee produced by the farmers of Salcedo is consumed locally: the increased control that farmers have on the supply chain and the increase in local consumption have meant that it is not even necessary to export the coffee to make it sustainable and improve the lives of farmers .
The success that the project received, on many points of view, it was enough to attract great interest from institutions and from the public and for this reason we found ourselves having to present the results of our collaboration with Oxfam Italia on numerous occasions, national and international events, as for example at the conference of "Business and Human rights - Corporate Social Responsibility, reporting and monitoring of the supply chain", organized by the NGO "Valore Sociale", which was held in the library of the Chamber of Deputies at Palazzo San Macuto, in Rome, on 28/10/2009.
More than a research was conducted on the project. A very interesting and complete study was done by Ilaria Casillo in his book Un'opportunità che fa grande l'impresa, which can be downloaded here.
For Caffè River the collaboration with Oxfam Italia was a great opportunity for cultural growth and we are proud to continue our collaboration today.