Gombe coffeeChimpanzees and coffee have more in common than you might think.

It was in Gombe National Park in Tanzania in 1960 that legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall first observed chimps in their natural habitat, the same lush habitat where coffee thrives. Beginning today, coffee lovers will be able to help preserve chimp habitat with each sip of their daily brew. A partnership was launched that will help to save these chimpanzees from the threat of extinction and also uplift their neighbors — the impoverished villagers surrounding the park — at the same time…

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and the Jane Goodall Institute have teamed up to create “Gombe Reserve” coffee, providing farmers and villagers an incentive to protect the chimps’ natural habitat. In turn, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will pay a premium price to the farmers for the quality coffee. The story is bigger than just one coffee roaster, as both Dr. Jane and Green Mountain Coffee intend to encourage additional roasters to do the same.

The coffee, available for a limited time on the Web at GreenMountainCoffee.com, is grown by members of the Kalinzi Cooperative, a group of 2,700 small-scale farmers who live near Gombe National Park.

Social and economic pressures have been closing in on the farmers. A burgeoning human population struggling to survive has effectively deforested the land all around the park. Because of this, chimpanzees in the wild are on the brink of extinction.

Coffee can help provide a solution. Because coffee beans thrive under the shade of a forest canopy, they grow in harmony with chimps. Coffee farming gives farmers an incentive to preserve the forest, and a chance at economic stability.

“Our effort to involve local citizens in restoring the forests and practicing sustainable agriculture is the most important work we can do to ensure a future for the Gombe chimpanzees and the people of Africa,” said Dr. Goodall.

The taste of “Gombe Reserve,” sold in a 12 oz. bag for $17.95, has floral top note and vibrant flavors of tropical fruit, according to Lindsey Bolger, director of coffee sourcing and relationships for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has always had a values-driven approach to coffee, believing that coffee can help the greater good. We’re thrilled to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring this great coffee to market and, ultimately, protect the chimps,” she said.

More info at the Gombe pageon Green Mountain’s Web site.

Leave a Reply