🇮🇳 India

Slow Food Nilgiris Coffee Community was created by the shared effort of Keystone Foundation, Aadhimalai, Black Baza Coffee and the producers from the Irula and Kurumba communities. They are the shareholders of Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Ltd and are working with Keystone Foundation and Slow Food.

The Slow Food Nilgiris coffee community is part of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition since 2021.

Their aim is to “achieve livelihood security for indigenous communities, agriculture and food security, land and community rights, community health and development, and conservation of biodiversity”, particularly, the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) and undertake processing including preserving, drying, freezing, venting, canning and packaging, warehousing, cold storage, service for the products of its members. Their aim is also to cultivate all kinds of organic farming products and non-timber forest produce (NTFPs) and to purchase, take lease or acquire any land or plantation or estates and to work and develop them.

Also, they seek to create the opportunity to the tribal communities to market their farm and forest harvest through processing, value adding, human resource developments and with fair trade principles. Towards Securing sustainable livelihood and sound environment to the tribal communities of NBR.  

The three main types of varieties grown in this area are Coffee Arabica, Coffee Robusta and Coffee Liberica are the three varieties grown widely in Nilgiris.

Keystone Foundation is encouraging coffee cultivation amongst Kurumba and Irula communities in Coonoor and Kotagiri taluka. Every indigenous household retains certain volume of coffee bean for their own consumption and the rest is sold in market. Almost all the process is still done manually and many traditional customs and religious ceremonies originate through this beverage which is drunk in the form of ‘Kaapi’.

Coffee Variety: Wild Robusta

Farming system: The coffee is grown in the shade in an agroforestry system, intercropped with other trees such as: jack fruit, pepper, Lemon, Soap nut, Orange, Mango, Gauva, custard apple, silver oak, millets.

Participatory Guarantee System initiative: In early 2022, the community decided to take part in the Slow Food Coffee Coalition’s PGS initiative, and did so by signing the Good, Clean and Fair Coffee Guidelines. Each producer signed a commitment to take part in PGS. After that, the Community formed the Ethical Committee, which also signed the PGS commitment. The Guarantee Group conducted field visits to the 10 producers in March 2022, completing the first PGS process for 2022.

The Ethical Committee is formed by: 

  • a member of Keystone Foundation
  • Producer Representative from Aadhimalai
  • Farmer Producer: a shareholder in Aadhimalai
  • Buyer from Last Forest Enterprises
  • Technical Person from Black Baza Coffee

Lot 2022:

Quantity: 350kg 

Country: TamilNadu, India

Region: Arakode Region (Kokkode Village, Bangalapadigai Village, Vakkanamaram Village, Samaigudal Village)

Producers: 10 small-holder farmers from the Nilgiris biosphere reserve.

Variety: Wild robusta

Altitude: 950 to 1500 masl

Process: Washed 

Harvest period: November 2021 – March 2022

Imported by: Origini caffè in August 2022.

Roasted by: Albero del caffè; Caffè dei piccoli produttori.


During harvest 2022, this lot of coffee took part in the first pilot of Blockchain applied to the Slow Food Coffee Coalition by Trusty. Click on the buttons below to see the Albero del Caffè’s blockchain.

Pictures from: Jestin Pauls