Industry News | January 26, 2010

Peet's Coffee Adds African Blend

Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced that it introduced Uzuri African Blend. The culmination of hundreds of hours of hands-on farmer training by Peet’s coffee buyers, this blend generates an increase in income for 6,000 small-scale farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Showcasing the region’s floral and aromatic flavors, Uzuri (pronounced oo-ZUR-ee) will be available on grocery shelves nationwide for a limited time from February 15 to March 31. Uzuri African Blend will become a permanent addition to Peet’s collection of signature blends online and at Peet’s coffeehouses starting March 3, the first new blend in eight years.

Meaning ”excellent” and ”beautiful” in Swahili, the Uzuri name was chosen by the African farmers who grow the coffee beans. Peet’s collaborated with the nonprofit TechnoServe to bring the distinct flavors of East Africa, the birthplace of coffee, to American coffee enthusiasts while creating a sustainable business model for thousands of farmers and their communities. Through farmer training and improved processing, the East African farmers are now producing coffee that meets Peet’s strict quality standards, earning them an estimated 30 percent more for their crop.

“I’m a believer that, quite literally, quality pays,” says Shirin Moayyad, Peet’s director of coffee purchasing. “East African coffee is some of the finest in the world. And after working alongside these farmers, it’s wonderful to be able to offer our customers the exceptional quality coffee we’ve achieved, as well as see the increase in income for the farmers who grew it. It’s truly a sustainable model, one we aim to grow.”

“Throughout Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya, coffee farmers live in extreme poverty, earning less than $2 per day,” says David Browning, senior vice president of TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative. “The training Peet’s provides in coffee quality along with business and agronomy training from TechnoServe means those farmers will be able to generate higher incomes and build a better future.”

Uzuri African Blend is a classic reflection of its origin with flavors that are bold, aromatic, and smooth, with undertones of dark berry. This newest addition to Peet’s collection of signature blends will be sold in 12-ounce bags, with retail prices ranging from $8.99 to $9.99 in supermarket chains across the country.

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