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Op-Ed: Thailand is not just beautiful temples - it produces coffee too Special

By D Scott Rosenberg     Oct 5, 2011 in Business
Hidden deep within the Golden Triangle of Northern Thailand, nestled in the foothills of Elephant Mountain under a canopy of rain forest foliage, the indigenous Akha Hill Tribe cultivates and process organically grown single estate premium Arabica coffee.
This year as Thailand celebrates the anniversary of H.M. the King’s 7th cycle birthday which is a very auspicious occasion for His Majesty and all of Thailand, it is interesting to note how a project started by the King back in the mid 1970's has grown and taken on international significance.
On fields which once yielded Opium poppies, the Tribes, steeped in age old traditions and culture, banded together under the patronage of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s King, and started on a road to a sustainable future. The Akha farmers were provided with high quality Arabica beans which they began to cultivate under the protection of fruit and macadamia nut trees. The high altitude, lush old forest growth and rich soil combined with cool mists and ample rainfall helps to make this mountainside one of the premium coffee growing regions of the world.
And the surprise, Doi Chaang Coffee has become an internationally award winning coffee - a product of the Kingdom of Thailand – who would have known that the "Land of Smiles" produces such a magnificent agricultural crop enjoyed around the world.
Doi Chaang villagers have established themselves as independent, successful coffee producers. Following 20 years of experience cultivating and processing coffee as individual farmers, the growers came together under the Doi Chaang banner to form a company, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and Thailand, which owns and operates its own facilities, covering all aspects of production and processing which ensures that only the best product is produced.
Doi Chaang Coffee Canada, besides allocating 50% of the company to the tribe, pays them more than fair trade for the raw coffee beans which are shipped and roasted in Canada for distribution worldwide. Doi Chaang Thailand roasts and maintains their own distribution in Thailand.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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