How it All Began
When we first began Zizira, our parent brand, we set out to discover underutilized resources in the Northeast region of India, while also discovering that the Northeast is full of unique microclimates. While making these discoveries, we also discovered another reality, most farmers in Meghalaya were not being pushed to realize their full potential. This was mainly due to the fact that there was no stable market that they could sell their unique produce, especially at a fair price. We learnt that this was especially true for coffee.
While traveling to different villages in Meghalaya, we discovered coffee that was just left on plants and not harvested. We found out these farmers do not sell their coffee locally. In fact, their harvest was purchased by the Coffee Board and sent to the nearest processing centre in Guwahati and then transported to Bangalore’s auction houses. We learnt that the identity of Meghalaya coffee is actually being lost.
We saw this as an opportunity. An opportunity to be a pioneer for coffee from the Northeast, as well as a way to help local farmers no longer waste the crop they had sitting on their property and be able to sell their crop at a competetive price.
Our 7000 Steps Story
Our story is not an easy story. When we first set out to meet farmers and discover underutilized potential, it was hard. Our team has hiked down to many different remote villages, developed relationships with farmers but also failed at others. Our team was commited to building lasting relationships and we knew that the best and most authentic way to do that was to hike down and meet these farmers face to face.
Our 7000 Steps name emerged from trekking down around 7000 real steps to a village in a remote canyon in Meghalaya. Ancient paths made of stones link these villages and are the “roads” where goods are transported in baskets. Over the past six years our teams hiked along these stone paths visiting farmers to build the relationships we have today. The journey has taken years of building trust and respect with these farmers. It has taken many hikes, many conversations and many camping trips to get to where we are now and to bring you our delicious coffee.
Making farmers famous has been our goal since we began Zizira. We began to provide opportunities and open markets for the farmers of Meghalaya to sell their produce.
We believe in cultivating a strong relationship with our farmers. In order to do this, one thing was made clear from the get-go: pay the farmers the sum they deserve for their produce. By doing so we eliminate the middlemen, and thus the farmers win!