Brief History of Haitian Coffee -- the Phoenix Rises

Haitian coffee has a long and rich tradition with as many twists and turns as gringo intestines after a week in Jacmel. Once the caffeinated gem of the Caribbean, Haitian coffee has lapsed into obscurity but is working to reclaim its reputation.
By: Fainting Goat Madison WI's favorite website compan
Pine forests of Thiotte = awesome Haitian Mountain Blue coffee
Pine forests of Thiotte = awesome Haitian Mountain Blue coffee
Oct. 23, 2012 - PRLog -- [brief] History of Haitian Coffee :  

Gabriel de Clieu brought coffee seedlings to Martinique around 1720. Those sprouts flourished, and 50 years later there were 18,000 coffee trees enabling Jesuits to spread cultivation to Haiti, Mexico and other Caribbean Islands.

Because of the world's taste for coffee, French colonial plantations relied heavily on African slave laborers. In 1788, Haiti supplied half the world's coffee.

Dreadful slave conditions and brutality resulted in the first successful slave revolution in 1804. After independence, coffee remained one of Haiti’s major export crops, peaking around 1850. In the 1940's Haiti's coffee sector made a brief comeback where in 1949, Haiti was the third largest coffee exporter in the world. Thereafter, like before, coffee production and exportation made rapid declines.

Since 1950, Haitian coffee, once again, has been forgotten for many reasons:

♦ Political instability / the brutal dictatorship of the Duvalier years, 1957-1986, brought about economic demise - including coffee exports.

♦ Like many countries, after the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement in 1989, coffee production fell with the onset of low market prices.

♦ During the U.S. embargo in the mid 1990s [boycotting the Aristead regime], many farmers burned coffee trees to make charcoal [Haitians buy charcoal at the market to use as cooking fuel].

♦ Decades of political unrest and government corruption made farmers too afraid to come down from the mountains to sell crops.

♦ Between 2000 and 2001, worldwide oversupply caused coffee prices to drop to their lowest levels in 100 years.

♦ Over time, Haitian farmers lost skills needed to grow, harvest, and process coffee, and Brazil eventually cornered the regional market, aided by modern facilities.

Seeds for an upswing in Haitian coffee production were planted in the 90's when better coffee processing plants were developed with the support of USAID. Ensuring growers a good price by cutting out local middlemen and selling directly to the United States also made things better. Furthermore, training in land management, shade canopies and coffee seedling programs launched practices that, today, are bearing fruits of long and hard labor.

In spite of near collapse, coffee continues as a backbone of Haiti's economy.  What will determine Haiti's growth towards recapturing attention for this forgotten gem will rely on several factors:

■ Farmer diligence towards producing quality, washed coffee and working towards sustainable farming techniques, including organic pest control practices.

■ Building and strengthening democratically elected farmer co-ops -- to make them leaders and innovators of their communities in the hope of keeping families together in rural areas.

■ To support farmers with smart business growth and practices – especially bookkeeping, pre-harvest financing, and managing processing centers efficiently and effectively.

■ The Haitian government's role in committing to developing farmer-led initiatives and a platform for farmer cooperation.

■ Buyers who understand the hardships of Haitian coffee farmers and who seek more than to simply buy a product – who invest in communities and growth towards self-sustainability.

Singing Rooster - a registered 501 (c)3 nonprofit - offers a direct buyer relationship & on-the ground assistance to coffee farming communities in Haiti for the sake of self-sustainability, dignity & economic autonomy since 2008.

We help cultivate and process high quality, gourmet Haitian coffee. Then we buy/export tons of green Haitian coffee beans and create new markets for it: roasted coffee, green coffee beans for home or commercial roasters, fundraising with coffee, and wholesale coffee to commercial roasters, cafes, and stores. This enables a stable outlet for our farmer partners and provides partial funding for our comprehensive approach ( -- we return 100% of the proceeds of coffee sales back to the farmers and their communities.

To learn more about our projects or to support our work through donations, see our website:

Singing Rooster's Haitian Mountain Bleu coffee ( comes from the same plant & is grown in the same region as the wildly successful Jamaican Blue - but at a fraction of the price.

100% of Singing Rooster's proceeds go BACK to Haiti; our goal is to build economic infrastructures based, in part, on coffee growing, production and exportation.

Drink our Coffee. Build an economy. Pass it on.
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Tags:Haitian Mountain Blue Bleu Coffee, green coffee beans from Haiti, Wholesale Green And Roasted Coffee
Industry:green coffee
Location:Madison - Wisconsin - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Oct 30, 2012 News
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