In Tanzania, it’s common for farmers to organize around local co-ops called Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society (AMCOS) since 1932. A well-managed AMCOS’ core purpose is to help its member-farmers with the purchase of agricultural supplies and with the marketing of their products. It also enables its members to access better social services such as healthcare and education, to provide further education for their children, and to improve food security among other benefits.
Having said that, this system also comes with its own challenges. Access to markets, better prices, coffee productivity and quality mutually affect one another. When the international markets are volatile and the buyers (a handful of large importers manipulating the market) are not loyal to the contracts, farmers are discouraged from investing in crop improvement and they deviate from coffee to food crops to ensure food security. In return, low coffee yields cause AMCOS to lose its market share and its competitiveness. Halambo Farmers is a new AMCOS with 200 smallholder farmers in the Mbeya region, Southwest Tanzania. They are determined to fully support their members in promoting their produce and to get fair prices for them in the market.
TanAfrica Green Company, a Tanzanian-owned importer, started to work with Halambo AMCOS two years ago. This year they imported fully washed lots of Bourbon and Kent varieties. In the cup, they present a perfect balance between the sweetness and nutty notes. We taste dried fruit sweetness, especially dried apricots, and raisins. Based on the brewing methods, you may taste different kinds of nuts like hazelnut, walnut, and almonds.