Alltech launches line of Haitian fair-trade coffee

Alltech Café Citadelle is sold in one-pound bags for $16.

Alltech Café Citadelle is sold in one-pound bags for $16.  Herald-Leader

You can add coffee to the list of drinks produced by Alltech.

The company on Friday debuted a new fair-trade coffee called Alltech Café Citadelle featuring beans grown in Haiti.

"Every single cup you have is a cup of sustenance — sustenance for you and to sustain those families down there," Alltech President Pearse Lyons said.

Lyons visited Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, in the wake of the devastating earthquake earlier this year and said he has since watched as groups have visited and "built churches and houses and schools, but they have not necessarily built lives. What we wanted to try to do was build lives."

Alltech, the Nicholasville-based feed supplement company, has partnered with farmers that are part of RECOCARNO (the abbreviation for a French name that translates to Network of North Region Coffee Cooperatives). The 6,700 people affiliated with the cooperative grow the beans in the village of Dondon at the base of a mountain that holds a fortress on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Alltech has adopted the name of the fortress, Citadelle Laferrière, for the name of the coffee.

The beans are shipped to Lexington, where they are prepared and packaged by Lexington Coffee and Tea Co., which owns Coffee Times Coffee House on Regency Road.

The coffee is available in 1-pound bags for $16. Terri Wood, owner of Coffee Times, said the beans are being roasted to a city-style roast as opposed to a darker French-style roast.

She said Coffee Times will be occasionally serving the coffee inside the shop in addition to selling the beans, but suggested customers call ahead to check availability.

Besides Coffee Times, the coffee beans can be bought by calling Alltech Customer Service at 1-888-636-3302 or at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games information booth inside Fayette Mall. Alltech is the title sponsor of the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Lyons said the company hopes to expand distribution of the coffee and is promoting it through Southland Christian Church, as the congregation has mission efforts in the same area of Haiti. Revenue from the coffee sales are going back to improve the infrastructure of the coffee cooperative, Lyons said.

"If we make a dime out of it, I'll be surprised," he said. "The object is not to make money but to build sustainable lives and build a sustainable industry."