The Jhai Coffee Farmer's Cooperative (JCFC) is an organically assembled group of 298 families, in 18 different villages, from 4 different ethnic groups, (Jeru, Lao, Bo, & Khmu), working together to produce some of the finest specialty coffee in all of South East Asia and certainly the most delicious coffee of Laos.
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Farmer Owned Cooperative
As the only truly Lao farmer owned and managed cooperative on the Bolaven Plateau which shares profits among the community fairly, the JCFC is a unique group of people who are working together to better their own lives in a collective effort. Founded in year 2000, the coop has grown slowly. Its management and membership consisted of 35 families in 2014/15, 75 families in 2015/16, and membership tripled to 298 families in 2016/17. These families live in 18 villages scattered throughout the Bolaven Plateau with village-level wet-mills and African-style, raised-bed drying facilities in each village.
The coffee curing warehouse and dry mill (parchment to green bean) is located in the centrally located village, Phou Oy. Each village elects a village leader as representative of the village within the cooperative. Every few weeks, village leaders hold leadership-wide meetings to address past, current, and future concerns of the cooperative at their headquarters, Jhai Coffee House.
Each JCFC village chief manages and invites new members organically. The outreach for increasing membership is not done through management recruitment but rather from families who are participating and enjoying the system who then tell other families in their village about the JCFC traceability program.
The JCFC's traceable and transparent fair trade system, which tracks cherry-to-parchment-to-green bean is what sets it apart as unique in the world of coffee cooperatives worldwide.
How did it feel in going from 81 point coffee last year to 86.5 coffee this year and winning second place in the cooperative?
- Winner of Champassak's One District One Product in 2016/17. O.D.O.P. selects the best product out of its province and the JCFC worked with Jhai Coffee House to roast and brew the coffee, which took first prize!
- JCFC coffee is being showcased in Vientiane at Once Upon A Time cafe.
- First exporter of certified specialty coffee from Laos PDR, 2013
- The JCFC in partnership with Jhai Coffee House was invited to showcase their coffees at the Bangkok Coffee Fest 2016/17.
- First assembled and working Lao-owned and managed coffee cooperative in the country.
- Winner of "Best Cooperative" in 2016, as awarded by the Lao Ministry of Trade