Coffee equipment manufacturers come together to create Hands for Songwa, a project aimed at offering continued support to farms in Tanzania.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
In an effort to increase their impact at origin through their Songwa Estates project, coffee equipment manufacturers La Marzocco, Mahlkönig, and Probat have announced Hands for Songwa, a new initiative in which a percentage of the sale of the manufacturers’ products will be donated toward projects at Songwa Estates.
Located in Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley, Songwa Estates is a nonprofit endeavor from La Marzocco, Mahlkönig, and Probat. In addition to promoting the production of high-quality coffee on the 59-hectare farm, the three entities invest in the people behind the coffee: With the new Hands for Songwa initiative, the project will fund the construction of four wells, including platforms and pumps. In the past, the manufacturers have constructed schools to support the farm and its immediate community. Anne Krahmer, Marketing Director of Mahlkönig, says the companies work with the estate to decide where their investment will make the most impact. “We are in constant conversation with our local farm manager to make sure we do the project the people in Tanzania need, and not just what we think is good for them,” she says.
La Marzocco, Mahlkönig, and Probat also use Songwa Estates as a venue for the specialty-coffee industry to visit origin and learn about coffee. Three-day seminars offered at the farm cover everything from growing to processing to cupping to marketing. Mary Diamond, a La Marzocco management team assistant, says the workshops are illuminating for the specialty-coffee community, offering a chance to “contribute to personal and professional growth, a greater capacity to appreciate the value of coffee, and start a conversation about coffee that is 360 degrees.”
During the Hands for Songwa initiative, equipment from the three manufacturers will be labeled with the exact amount being donated to Songwa Estates. Specialty-coffee professionals interested in visiting Songwa Estates and attending one of the farm’s coffee seminars can learn more at the Songwa Estates website.