Araku coffee is an Arabica variety of coffee, which is grown in the Araku valley. Araku is a hill station and valley region in Andhra Pradesh and located at a distance of 120km from Visakhapatnam.
The coffee grown by the tribal people of Araku valley has secured the gold medal for the best coffee pod in the Prix Epicures in Paris.
Araku coffee is well known for its rich blend and unique taste and aroma. It has a great market in foreign countries like France, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The annual temperature of the Araku valley ranges from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. Because of its cold climatic conditions, a Britisher N S Brodie introduced coffee to Andhra Pradesh during 1898. It is a known fact that India now holds a great position in the world coffee sector and ranked as the sixth-largest producer of coffee.
Coffee cultivation has started in the reserve forests of AP in the early 60s, as Andhra Pradesh Forest Department has taken the project and developed more than 10,000 acres of the plantations. After this, the project is handed to AP Forest Development Corporation in 1985 and then went to Girijan Corporation of Andhra Pradesh. As per the GCC, there are 5 lakh acres of coffee plantation across the tribal regions of AP.
The farmers in the Araku Valley have grown the Arabica variety coffee and they added Pepper as the major intercrop. Because of this, Araku coffee has acquired a unique taste and flavor.
Coffee Board of India has acquired the geographical indication (GI) for Arabica coffee, to protect its unique identity as it is grown by the tribal communities of Araku valley.
Coming to the marketing of the Araku coffee, there are few big players that market the coffee to the international level. They are Girijan Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, Nandi Foundation, and Krish Food and Fun.
The Girijan Corporation is the first of its kind established in India by the Government of Andhra Pradesh exclusively for the welfare of tribals of state. Later several other states followed this example and started similar organizations to cater to the needs of tribals there.
GCC has been serving the Girijans in the State very well by marketing their products and striving in general for their economic uplift. The corporation promotes and sells Araku coffee as a brand all over the country and also in exhibitions abroad.
Naandi was founded as the Public Charitable Trust in 1998. Dr. K Anji Reddy was the founding chairman in 1988. The Naandi Foundation works with coffee farmers as part of the Araku project says the Managing director of foundation Manoj Kumar.
They have worked closely with the farmers for skill development in the coffee growing. They harvested and processed coffee beans in Araku and also obtained international organic and fair-trade certification which enabled exports.
Krish Food and Fun (India) Pvt Ltd is also one of the major players in the Araku Valley Coffee. S Krishna Chaitanya is the founder of Krish Food and Fun (India) Pvt Ltd and he is also the chairman of Organisation for Rural Re-Construction (ORRC).
ORRC is a society for rural and Adivasi empowerment, it has registered in 1988 under the society registration Act 1860, established by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Krish Food and Fun (India) Pvt Ltd is the first in the Cafe segment with Araku coffee beans in India & the USA with Araku Aroma. Although it is a startup, it excelled with strong Research & Development, Intellectual property and only company in India to achieve a registered trademark in the USA regarding Araku valley coffees.
Love latte and Arakuccino are their exclusive specialty coffees. They have maintained close acquaintances with Girijan people in the valley region. To help the tribal community in Araku, Krish Food and Fun Pvt Ltd pay 20 percent more than the current market price for the coffee beans and also spend 20 percent from their profits to facilitate them.