Helping Coffee Production in Haiti

On March 01 2019, USAID’s Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement (LEVE) Project awarded Café Lux a partner contribution grant of $80,000 USD to co-finance the purchase of coffee beans and equipment for de-husking and roasting. Café Lux is a newcomer led by a young entrepreneur, Rémy Telfils, whose mission is to promote coffee from Haiti’s Southeast region and make it available all over the country and ultimately all over the world. LEVE’s support will allow the company to double its production in the next two years, thus becoming a real player in the Haitian market.

In the early 80’s, Haiti used to export at least 300,000 coffee bags in the International market. Haitian coffee was recognized by the connoisseurs as one of the best in the world. With the social and political instability that has permeated Haitian society in the last 30 years, coffee production has fallen so much that the main coffee houses had to import coffee. Café Lux is among the companies who decided to take action against this situation, not only by roasting their own coffee but by help farmers plant seedlings – thus helping to reforestation- and offering them a market for their harvest.

With LEVE grant, Café Lux will be able to double its production and, hopefully, its sales in the Metropolitan market. If this goal is achieved, at least ten new permanent positions will be created, converting current part time employees to full-time. This will also benefit the farmers of more than 10 associations that currently are selling their coffee to Café Lux since the company will be able to buy more raw materials from them.

At the signing ceremony, the owner of Café lux, Rémy Telfils said, “With USAID’s help, through the LEVE project, we are going to be able to increase the quality and quantity of coffee we are producing ”. He further commented, “We are also proud to contribute to the resurgence of the coffee industry, one of the jewel of the Haitian economy”

“Café Lux” – only founded in 2014 – has huge plans for the future. Not only does the company want to be recognized as a leading Haitian company by becoming a public favorite but it also wants to reach the international market starting with Haitian diaspora. This endeavor will require more investment and training but Café Lux management considers this goal reachable in the near future, above all, when they consider the reaction of the public to the small testing they have done abroad.

With LEVE’s support, Café Lux’s project will help address two of the Government of Haiti’s (GoH) objectives to a) promote reforestation and b) to stimulate agricultural production in order to reduce the country’s dependency on imports while creating strong export products/markets.