L'Ouverture Coffee was founded with a vision to save the lives of as many impoverished people in Haiti as possible. Why Haiti? We’ll get to that…
Founded by Junior Racine. This second generation Canadian spent two years planning, developing, writing every meticulous content, feature and goal he hopes to see L'Ouverture Coffee succeed and over-achieve within the next decade.
His parents immigrated to Canada from Haiti back in the late 1970's nestling themselves in Alberta, where they've been ever since. His paternal family's history in coffee goes back a long way, how far back is hard to say. Mr. Racine's great-grandfather was a coffee farmer in Haiti and from the stories his father told him, his great-grandfather was dedicated and principled. But after his death, the plantation seemed to fall by the wayside, his children had their own lives, dreams and interests. There was no future for the business. And so, the lands were lost, the coffee trees died from decades of neglect and fell victim to numerous destructive hurricanes.
Haiti, the first independent "black" republic, was once responsible for half of the worlds coffee at one time in history between the 1700s and 1800s. But the country faced many difficult situations which destroyed their economy. After the uprising of African slaves who fought 3 colonial powers ultimately lead to the victory of freedom, the nation of warriors unfortunately suffered many overwhelming problems; the burning of many plantations, the American occupation, the reparation to the French empire, coffee leaf rust disease, natural disasters and corrupt violent dictators... it seems Haiti was doomed to an everlasting existence of suffering.
Now we find ourselves in the 21st century, where life on the western hemisphere is hopeful and bright. Yet many still face poverty, injustice and discrimination. Haiti is most widely known as the poorest country on the western hemisphere. Where 60% of the population live in poverty and 25% of that are living under extreme poverty... On top of that we are facing the ever-growing threat of climate change, our arctic glaciers are melting at incredibly fast rates which leads to rising water levels that threaten the lives of millions, Haiti's 2% forest coverage doesn't help. We have insanely high amounts of carbon floating in our atmosphere while at the same time around 80% of the world's forests have been cut down.
The mission when it all began was to fight the good fight for those who can't. It was about reducing Haiti's poverty rate while reducing effect of climate change by way of reforestation. We start off by donating a generous amount of our profits to our non-profit partner, Eden Reforestation Projects, who then employs impoverished Haitians to plant 4 trees per bag of coffee in their country. It doesn't take much imagination to fathom the myriad of benefits to the people, the land and their economy.
Planting 3 million trees by 2028 is a highly ambitious goal for a company still in its infancy, but wiser minds have taught the world that it is good to have overarching goals, we adopted that concept. Those 3 million trees roughly translate to 30,000 work days at Haiti's national minimum wage of $5.11 per day. This does not include the wage increases and the food trees they will be given to take home from which they could use or sell.
Pushing to achieve a goal like this will have tremendous benefits for a large number of people. The work on singling the trees will employ locals in Haiti; the cover produced by the acacias will create optimal shade for fruit trees and coffee plants to grow; the natural breathing of the trees will absorb and sequester carbon that is polluting the atmosphere. All in all, a worthwhile endeavor.
This is all boils down to the decision of creating the Citizen Club. In our effort to deliver a premium quality product while at the same time maintaining our social impact goals, it seemed like the right choice was to keep it all very exclusive. Why? Because we felt it was important to make sure that we could build lasting loyalty with our customers in order to better reach 3 million trees. A better relationship with you is the only way we can truly grow into a company with enough support to change the lives of ultimately every Haitian. Rewriting their history and the history of the globe.
We know it all sounds crazy... but only the crazies get close enough to actually achieve anything great.