Episode 1 – The Product That Keeps on Giving: Giveback Models

Out now!

Gone are the days of strict divides between for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. We are living in an age where companies are forced to acknowledge their role in society and oftentimes this is where the discussion around “giving back” is introduced. In this episode, we travel from Berlin to Bwindi and talk to four companies who have embedded a giveback element into their daily operations – not just as a sales tactic or a “purposewashing” campaign, but as a genuine vehicle to enact real change.

Nina Rauch is the social impact coordinator of disruptive insurtech company, Lemonade. They donate leftover insurance premium dollars to nonprofits of the customers’ choosing.

Lawrence Zikusoka is the co-founder of Gorilla Conservation Coffee based in Uganda. They donate $1.50 per kilo to conservation efforts through their award-winning organization Conservation Through Public Health.

Annika Brümmer is in charge of Marketing and PR at Berlin-based beer company, Quartiermeister. They support neighbourhoods by funding local community projects with 10 cents per litre.

Deevee Kashi is the CEO and founder of social impact and volunteerism platform, Deed. Deed uses technology to connect employees and consumers to good causes where they can donate their time, money and skills.

ONLINE VET STORE | Gorilla Conservation Coffee

Gorilla Conservation Coffee

Saving gorillas – One sip at a time!


100% Arabica Single Origin Specialty Coffee.

Gorilla Conservation Coffee is a social enterprise created through the partnership between Conservation Through Public Health and World Wide Fund for Nature Switzerland. Gorilla Conservation Coffee pays a premium price to coffee farmers living next to gorillas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Supporting local farmers helps protect the critically endangered gorillas and their fragile habitat.

The coffee blend is named after Kanyonyi, the lead silverback of the Mubare gorilla family who live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

The Kanyonyi blend is a medium roasted 100% Arabica Coffee from Uganda. The coffee is handpicked, wet processed and roasted. Each cup has a unique aroma with hints of caramel, butter and almond.


Coffee with a cause!


Gorilla Conservation Coffee pays a premium above market price to coffee farmers who are living next door to the gorillas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and further supports the farmers through training in sustainable coffee farming and processing. This helps to improve the coffee quality and increase production yield, which additionally helps to protect the critically endangered gorillas and their fragile habitat. A portion from every kilogram of roasted branded coffee sold is donated directly to support Conservation Through Public Health’s work with gorillas and the local community.


Meet Kanyonyi


The blend is named after the former lead silverback gorilla of the Mubare Gorilla Group, the first group habituated for tourism at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

Kanyonyi was born in 1996 and named after the little stream where he was born. Kanyonyi signifies what has been achieved in conservation since Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was made a National Park in 1992 and tourism began in 1993. Kanyonyi’s father – Ruhondeza – was heading Mubare group when tourism began in Bwindi, and his accommodating nature brought significant benefits to the Bwindi local community.

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, as the first Veterinary Officer of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, successfully operated on Kanyonyi’s older sister who had a rare condition of a rectal prolapse, and was named Kahara because she liked to baby-sit her younger brother, Kanyonyi. When Ruhondeza died in 2012 the local community came to pay their last respects, showing that their relationship with the park management has greatly improved and that the local community values mountain gorillas. Our hopes are that the Kanyonyi Coffee Blend will continue to build upon these conservation efforts by providing a meaningful livelihood to farmers who live next door to the critically endangered mountain gorillas.


About the coffee


The coffee is 100% Ugandan grown premium Arabica that is  selectively harvested for only red ripe cherries, hand-picked, wet processed and dried under shade and tested for quality parameters at every level. The filter coffee is roasted medium and packed to the highest quality standards. Each cup has a unique aroma with hints of caramel, butter notes and almond, with a citrus taste and a sweet finish.


Where can I purchase Gorilla Conservation Coffee?


Online Vet Store proudly has Gorilla Conservation Coffee beans, filter and espresso available for sale: SHOP NOW


Our connection


Rangiora Vet Centre Vet, and Director Dr Ben Davidson, who created Online Vet Store, has been interested in wildlife and the natural world since he was a young kid.

Travelling through Africa for 3 months, from Uganda to South Africa, was the beginning of his fascination and connection with this continent. He has been back twice since then, once to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park and again to see them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

Both of these trips were part of his MVSc which he completed through Edinburgh University. In the most recent trip he travelled with Prof David Hayman, a world leading researcher in wildlife disease, based at Massey University to western Uganda. This was as part of a 5 year research program investigating disease transmission between humans, domestic livestock and the mountain gorillas in Uganda.

Working alongside Dr Gladys and her team at Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) he was collating data collected through surveys from local villagers. Dr Gladys was the first vet to work for the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and soon found her passion lay with protecting and ensuring a future for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. She took a high level and broad view and established CTPH in 2004. This NGO monitors the health of the local villagers, their livestock as well as the health of the local gorilla populations. Her team educates villagers about birth control, food and personal hygiene for the purpose of not only improving their health but also to take pressure off the National Park which is home to the gorillas, as well as reduce the risk of passing on disease to these animals.

Dr Gladys has also started Gorilla Conservation Coffee, a social enterprise that helps the coffee farmers bordering the park to make a better living for themselves and their families. The co-op that she formed pays a premium for their organic arabica beans and for every kilogram of beans sold US$1.50 goes back to gorilla conservation.

Dr Ben Davidson has been invited to stay on for the duration of the research project with CTPH and completed his masters in August 2019 with the completion of his thesis. He is looking forward to future work with Dr Gladys and her team and playing some small part in ensuring a future for the mountain gorilla.


What makes us unique?


Gorilla Conservation Coffee is the only Ugandan coffee expressly created to help conserve the mountain gorillas by directly supporting farmers living around the gorillas’ habitat in subcounties bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Conservation Through Public Health is working with Uganda Wildlife Authority, local communities and other organizations, to improve education, healthcare and livelihoods, so that humans and mountain gorillas – like Kanyonyi and his family – can coexist. Together, we can make a direct difference for smallholder farmers and critically endangered mountain gorillas.


More information


Episode 7: Coffee with A Purpose

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka meets with local farmers who produce the beans for Gorilla Conservation Coffee in Uganda. Photo courtesy of Gorilla Conservation Coffee.

Coffee is not only consumed and beloved around the world, but it is also produced in many countries ranging from Costa Rica and Indonesia to Uganda, Brazil and Laos. Though coffee agriculture has not always been equitable for the farmers, there are innovators changing that. In this episode, we talk with two entrepreneurs who have found a way to make coffee into a sustainable and sustaining industry by creating fair-trade projects that not only provide producers with living wages, but also support local conservation and community development efforts.

Kathryn met our first guest, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, on a trip to Uganda in 2019. Not only is she the first Wildlife Officer of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, but she is also the founder of an NGO called Conservation Through Public Health that works with communities living around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to promote gorilla conservation efforts there. She and her husband, Lawrence, founded Gorilla Conservation Coffee to help farmers living around the park support themselves by growing and selling coffee at fair prices.

Among other projects, folks at Saffron Coffee in Laos cultivate coffee plants in a nursery to give to regional farmers as they get started. Photo courtesy of Saffron Coffee.

Next, Eric calls Todd Moore, the director of Saffron Coffee. Along with a lovely little cafe in Luang Prabang, Laos, Saffron Coffee was founded in 2006 to help farmers in the hill villages of northern Laos shift from growing opium to farming coffee. Today, they work with more than 800 farmers in 25 of these villages. That success didn’t come without challenges, though, which we learn during our conversation.

Follow Gorilla Conservation Coffee on Instagram @gorillaconservation_coffee, and Saffron Coffee @saffroncoffee. And as always, be sure to check out our own Instagram feed @conscioustravlerpod.

Interview with National Geographic Explorer and Conservationist, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a National Geographic Explorer and multi-award-winning conservationist who has been a life-long champion of wildlife. As an African woman growing up in a male-dominated society, she found the determination and courage to overcome the many obstacles she faced due to her gender to become Uganda’s first wildlife vet.

Not one to rest on her laurels, after leaving the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, she followed her heart and founded her NGO, Conservation Through Public Health, and the social enterprise, Gorilla Conservation Coffee to preserve the endangered mountain gorillas, create health and prosperity for the local human community and be a caretaker for our planet.


Describe a typical day for you?

I don’t have a typical day. As founder and CEO of a small but growing 17-year-old grassroots NGO, Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), based in Uganda, that works to ensure that the mountain gorillas are healthy and their habitats are secure, I have a long to-do list and wake up each day to prioritize it. I also wear several hats as a leader where I sit on a number of boards including, The Gorilla Organization based in the UK, and committees including the Women for Environment – an Africa leadership council advocating for greater female leadership in conservation.

My husband, Lawrence Zikusoka is a co-founder of our two main initiatives, Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) and our social enterprise, Gorilla Conservation Coffee.  We often start the day by comparing notes on what we plan to do.

The best part of my job is spending time at our field office in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to just under half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. A typical day involves getting up earlier than usual to check on the gorillas, and other days involve hosting and attending meetings with field staff and community volunteers including Village Health Teams, Gorilla Guardians and Reformed Poachers who encourage their community to protect the gorillas, and who we support along with the rest of the local community with improved healthcare and livelihoods so that they can coexist with the gorillas and other wildlife. I am also a mother to two energetic sons, aged 16 and 11 who travel with me to the national parks as often as possible, where we spend amazing quality time together.

When I am at CTPH headquarters in Entebbe, I often spend my day responding to emails about day-to-day operations and new enquires, thanking our donors and supporters through email and social media, writing or reviewing grants, reviewing and sending reports to donors, the government and other stakeholders on the work we have done, reviewing and designing new projects and mentoring and inspiring my team in their work.

Prior to COVID-19, I spent 25% of my time travelling around the world presenting and raising funds for our work. Lately, I have been invited to sit on a number of virtual meetings, giving several presentations because our One Health approach is helping to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on endangered mountain gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as well as other great apes in Africa via advocating for responsible tourism.

One highlight has been finding our first UK distributor for our Gorilla Conservation Coffee, Moneyrow Beans who have made it possible for us to continue to support local coffee farmers in the absence of an income from gorilla trekking tourists during the pandemic. This has helped to reduce their need to enter the gorilla habitat for food and firewood at a time when bushmeat poaching has greatly increased all over Africa. We have also had to begin a new program of providing emergency food relief for vulnerable communities around the park, which became more urgent when one of the gorillas was killed by a hungry and desperate poacher.


What do you feel are your greatest achievements?

One of my greatest achievements has been establishing an award-winning NGO that is positively impacting some of the poorest people sharing a habitat with gorillas and other wildlife, and contributing to the growth of the mountain gorilla population from 600 when I first started working with them, to 1063.

One of our first awards was the 2009 Whitley Gold Award for outstanding leadership in grassroots nature conservation which was presented to me by HRH Princess Anne. I was also greatly honored to become a finalist for the Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa in 2019, where we were hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace which caused a lot excitement among friends, colleagues and family in Uganda. This year, our charity Conservation Through Public Health won the prestigious 2020 Saint Andrews Prize for the Environment, an achievement we are very proud of.

Our social enterprise, Gorilla Conservation Coffee, also won the 2017 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Switch Africa Green SEED Award for eco-inclusive enterprises, and second prize at the 2019 Italian StartUpAfrica Road Trip Award.

In August, I was honored to receive the 2020 Aldo Leopold Award from the American Society of Mammologists, and truly humbled to be the first African to receive it and the second woman.


What’s in your handbag/satchel?

Lip balm, fragrance and hand cream from the Body Shop where I have been shopping since 1990. I was drawn to this business because they do not test on animals and now also support women and sustainable businesses globally. I also carry a phone, sunglasses, contact lens solution and glasses (I am very short-sighted), a notebook, pens of different colors and at least one reading book. Other essential items since the COVID-19 pandemic began, include hand sanitizer and a range of cloth masks made by local women from a local enterprise, Ride for A Woman enabling them to earn an income to support their families sharing a habitat with the gorillas in the absence of tourism.


What are your ambitions in life?

I would like to expand our impact to other countries in Africa where gorillas are found and other parts of Uganda where gorillas are not found, working with local stakeholders. Something else I feel strongly about is to help increase the number of women leaders in conservation through my role on the leadership council of Women for the EnvironmentAfrica, and leaders of color in conservation in my role as the Vice President of the African Primatological Society that is building African leadership in primate research and conservation.

I am currently writing a book about my experiences in conservation and leadership journey with gorillas and other wildlife over the past 30 years, which I hope to get published next year. It’s something I have been wanting to do for many years and excited that it is finally happening. I have found a great literary agent, Naz Ahsun, who is very supportive.


What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?

It is important to choose a career based on something you truly care about because when the going gets tough, what keeps you going is your passion and purpose. I have found that you will never be able to please everyone all of the time, especially if you want to make a difference and change the world. When you work alone you go fast, when you work with others you go far; I have learnt the importance of teamwork, having a motivated team, and building partnerships with external stakeholders. As a founder of an NGO and social enterprise, I have also learnt to place values ahead of talent when hiring people. On a personal note, I have learnt how important it is to be an authentic leader, and strive to develop a healthy work/life balance.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I see myself stepping down from being the CEO of our NGO and social enterprise and devoting more of my time on the Board, spending more time growing as a leader and mentoring my team, and others in my sector. I also see myself spending more time advocating for our approach to a wider audience in Africa and the rest of the world. I am humbled to be a finalist of the 2020 Tällberg Eliasson Global Leadership Prize because of our One Health approach to Conservation.


What advice would you give a budding Vet?

Veterinary training enables you to impact many sectors if you would like to take up these amazing opportunities. It has been a truly interesting and rewarding journey for me to be able to make a difference in conservation, public health, tourism, and agriculture sectors through my training as a veterinarian.


What advice would you give to a new parent?

Enjoy parenthood, don’t try to be a perfect parent, spend as much time as possible with your children because they change so fast during the first few years and two decades of their life, and you don’t want to miss many of those moments in helping to shape their values. My eldest son recognised his first elephant at the age of two, in the national park, not in a storybook. Let them follow their passion and be who they want to be and encourage them to be authentic, build their leadership qualities, and fulfill their potential in life. I am truly indebted to my mother, who on top of being a hands-on mother and grandmother, encouraged me to follow my dream to pursue a career with animals because she realised that from an early age, I hated to see them suffering, and even when being a Vet in Uganda was not a profession that paid well, and I am truly indebted to her for that.


Finally, happiness is…

Being true to yourself and leaving the world better than you found it….






Buy Gorilla Conservation Coffee anywhere in Uganda on Simbi Mall

500g Kanyonyi Coffee - Medium Roasted Ground Coffee
Single origin, 100% Arabica coffee from farmers living around Bwindi. Photo: Gorilla Conservation Coffee


Entebbe, Uganda

29 October 2020

Gorilla Conservation Coffee has partnered with Simbi Mall, an online eCommerce platform that allows you to buy our single origin, 100% Arabica coffee, that supports smallholder farmers around Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and conserves endangered mountain gorillas.

Click here to order 125g, 250g and 500g Kanyonyi coffee medium roasted (ground and beans) for delivery in Kampala and across Uganda on Simbi Mall.

Started in 2015, Gorilla Conservation Coffee is a social enterprise of award-winning Conservation Through Public Health NGO founded by world-renowned wildlife veterinarian and mountain gorilla expert, Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka.

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka has this to say about the collaboration: “We are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Simbi Mall which brings Gorilla Conservation Coffee even closer to our customers in Uganda so that even more people can enjoy our sustainable coffee, while saving gorillas one sip at a time”.

Simbi Mall Co-founder and Chief Sustainability Officer, Ms. Christine Ainabyona, echoed her sentiments: “More and more customers want to use their phones to order groceries and use contactless payments, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. We set up Simbi Mall to meet this need, and to provide exceptional service while doing so. It is a privilege and honour to get Gorilla Conservation Coffee online with Simbi Mall as it not only bolsters our beverages selection but also ensures that we are supporting the sustainable development of the Bwindi region”.

Now you too can do your bit to protect the gorillas and support communities around Bwindi. With Simbi Mall, you can now purchase the award-winning Gorilla Conservation Coffee Kanyonyi brand coffee online – from the comfort of your own home or office – and have it delivered to your doorstep.

For inquiries, please email: info@gorillaconservationcoffee.org or call +256777171421.

For inquiries, please email: simbi@simbimall.com or call +256788650135.

#SavingGorillasOneSipAtATime #SustainCoffee #ConserveGorillas #GorillaConservationCoffeeXSimbiMall