Grabbing life by the beans

Kalahari Coffee Cooperative offers single source specialty grade coffee from almost all African coffee producing countries.

26 November 2021 | Business

“We exclusively work with African farmers growing single origin African coffee” - Brian Wheeler

Desiree Gases





Kalahari Coffee Cooperative was started in 2017 in Windhoek by Brian Wheeler.

“We have a hand in every aspect of our coffee distribution channels, dealing exclusively with ‘Beans from Africa’. What sets us apart from our competition is that we exclusively work with African farmers growing single origin African coffee,” said Wheeler.

Kalahari Coffee Cooperative gets its coffee from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda. The company will be expanding to soon offer an array of African teas and cocoa products in 2022.

Wheeler has a professional background in international development and his first assignment in Africa was during the time he lived in Kenya from 2009 to 2010. A lot of the work he did centred around mobilising farm workers, especially those working on coffee and tea plantations, to take better care of their health.

On a vast majority of the coffee and tea farms Wheeler visited, the workers were working in dismal - and often exploitative - conditions to produce coffee and tea, which are drinks associated with consumer leisure. This planted an idea in his mind to source coffee and tea from African producers of these commodities as a means to increase their earning potential and introduce their products to new international markets.

Kalahari Coffee Cooperative’s business philosophy is solidly built on cooperative economics, which is rooted in Pan Africanism.

“I firmly believe that we have all the natural resources on the continent needed to improve the socio-economic conditions of our people, however, often we don’t add value to our products. For example, roasting coffee beans instead of just exporting them as green beans,” said Wheeler.

“Hence, my operating philosophy centres upon creating a business that supplies awesome African coffee to consumers, while also supporting sustainable livelihoods for our African coffee farmers.”

Kalahari Coffee Cooperative provides its customers with great tasting coffee at the most competitive cost, with the opportunity for consumers to know exactly where their coffee is sourced from. Finally, consumers of Kalahari Coffee Cooperative are directly supporting intra-Africa trade, something the company is committed to – buying from fellow trading partners throughout the continent, which allows it to sell coffee both locally and internationally.

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