Saudi Coffee Company supports the kingdom’s coffee industry

Tell us what inspired the launch of Saudi Coffee Company. How does the company showcase the traditions associated with coffee and its production in the kingdom?

More than 1 billion people worldwide start (and continue) their day with coffee. But brewing is much more than an eye-opener and a social lubricant in the morning: it represents the rich cultures of coffee-growing nations, while at the same time it is an important tool for economic development.

History of Saudi coffee or Coffeeprovides an important context for making it global. Arabica, the world’s most popular coffee bean, is thought to have originated in Ethiopia in the 13th century.pearl It was cultivated in the century and soon after in what would later become Saudi Arabia.

But as the pleasure of coffee spread all over the world, Khawlani beans, considered the best in Arabica, could still only be found in the southern Arabian Peninsula, with different preparation styles.

In the wake of 2022, the official ‘Year of Saudi Coffee’, the centuries-old traditions of small family farms in the green highlands of the kingdom come into focus as the Saudi Coffee Company works to support the national coffee industry in all areas of the country. value chain and share Saudi Arabia’s ancient coffee heritage with the world.

To assist these broader efforts, Saudi Arabia’s PIF established Saudi Coffee Company in May 2022 as part of its mandate to execute Vision 2030, the kingdom’s plan for economic and social transformation.

Read: State wealth fund PIF launches Saudi Coffee Company

In this process, the Saudi Coffee Company aims to increase Saudi coffee production from 300 tons to 2,500 tons per year and to create employment in every link of the value chain.

Tell us about the process coffee farmers in Saudi Arabia use to make Khawlani coffee..

The Saudi Arabian method of making coffee usually involves roasting it over an open fire, grinding it, and then infusing the beans with cardamom, saffron, and other spices.

This process goes back to the rigorous practices that more than 2,000 Saudi coffee farmers continue to pass down from generation to generation. Khawlani coffee is not only an aromatic beverage with low acidity, complex fruit and chocolate tones, but also part of our national identity.

The Khawlani plantation, named after the Khawlan tribe, which has grown beans for the past 300 years, particularly in the mountainous southwestern Jazan region, is currently under consideration for UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Saudi coffee farming begins with terracing, a process that reduces erosion and helps the soil retain water, thereby increasing productivity. The seeds are prepared by hand, sown in the mud mix, then transferred to the rows and the plants are ready for harvest in three to five years. The resulting, green to red ripe “cherries” are picked with a twisting hand motion, a manual method that helps branches develop longer.

Coffee farming in Saudi Arabia is a community initiative involving both men and women.

When harvesting, males often wear skirt-like. queen, along with a curved dagger and a flower or plant-based head wreath while singing traditional songs and picking cherries in pouches.

The fruit is then dried on stone roofs, after which the seeds are peeled, roasted and ground.

While this coffee is traditionally sold from farmers’ homes or at regional coffee festivals, Saudi Coffee Company’s goal is to bring this local consumption to national and global markets.

In doing so, it will remove Saudi Arabia from being the 18th country in the world.pearl-The largest coffee importer to a major global exporter of the kingdom’s unique coffee.

What are some of the challenges coffee farmers face?

Coffee farming in Saudi Arabia is not without the same barriers that coffee growers everywhere face, with serious consequences for both economies and consumers.

Climate change poses a major threat to the industry, as rising temperatures, drought and heavy rainfall all negatively affect soil texture and pH.

Studies also show that an increase in CO2 and temperature can cause an increase in agricultural pests and diseases, such as the rust fungus that has repeatedly devastated Central America’s coffee industry over the past 10 years.

Groundwater depletion is another problem, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which traditionally relied on desalinated seawater or deep aquifers and now uses Big Data analytics to monitor water use.

Ongoing famines could reduce the planet’s coffee-worthy soils by 50 percent in just 30 years.

Not surprising, considering that it takes an astonishing 140 liters of water to produce a single cup of coffee.

How does the Saudi Coffee Company support these farmers?

While traditional methods, such as Khawlani farmers’ practice of collecting a quarterly rainwater supply, reflect time-honored resource management, it makes sense to introduce innovations that can strengthen old methods.

That’s why we invest in every aspect of coffee production, starting with increasing Saudi Arabia’s agricultural capacity and harvesting capacity, and including local, affordable roasting and packaging facilities.

The Saudi Coffee Company also has plans to set up a dedicated academy at various locations in the kingdom to train and improve the skills of farmers and entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses.

This technology and knowledge transfer is also linked to national workforce development goals; in this case, it develops the skills to produce, promote and market the country’s signature drink.

Public and private sector participation is also important. For example, energy company Aramco recently launched a corporate citizenship campaign in Jazan featuring advanced irrigation techniques that save up to 80 percent water.

Extensive planting of both coffee and other new trees can increase yields while improving wider farming conditions.

That’s why Jazan, which already has some of the oldest in the world, is working to increase the number of coffee trees from 171,000 to 1 million by 2030.

With coffee demand growing everywhere, increasing the Saudi crop by 70 percent could help everyone enjoy coffee sustainably.

To help achieve this ambitious goal, the Saudi Coffee Company is investing $320 million (SR1.2 billion) over 10 years to develop the industry at every stage.

Efforts like this can help combat estimates of production losses from climate change while maintaining income stability for small farmers who produce 80 percent of the world’s coffee.

Why is coffee central to the kingdom’s social, economic and cultural values?

Saudi Coffee Company courtesy twitter @SaudiCoffeeCo
Photo courtesy of Saudi Coffee Company/ Twitter

Strengthening our coffee culture is important as Saudi Arabia continues to open up to the world.

For example, international coffee chains have contributed significantly to social liberties, as Saudi restaurants no longer host families and single men separately.

Adding local coffee beans to this mix not only expands the world’s range of offerings, but can also boost agritourism, another sector that Saudi Arabia is wholeheartedly welcoming and working to expand.

With the Saudi Coffee Company at the head of the national ecosystem, coffee is no longer just Arabica, but also Saudi.

Local Khawlani beans are now the main route to a more diverse economy and a more sustainable industry with less imports, more employment and better business development.

A proud symbol of hospitality, heritage and warmth, this mug of Saudi culture can now be shared with the world.

Also read: Saudi PIF partners with AeroFarms to build indoor vertical farms in Middle East and North Africa