Why Vanuatu products?

When Elaine and Chris Nuessler made a trip to Tanna, in the South Pacific Vanuatu archipelago, the last thing they expected was that they would later end up importing some of the island's specialty products so that they could sell them in their Summerland store. In fact the store had not even been a seed of an idea in their imaginations at the time they made the trip! Now, a few years later, with a desire to help some of the delightful locals they had met on Tanna, they are bringing the potent and addicting Fair-Trade Vanuatu coffee and Volcanic Earth products to Summerland BC, through the connection of Ann and Frank - two friends who were from the tiny South Pacific Island.


The vanuatu volcano that is home to the superior Tanna Island Coffee

Tanna Island coffee is known and loved for its full body and deep dark aromatics - think smooth taste with zero bitterness and an aftertaste that reminds one of the best chocolate with nutty overtones. The potash in the soil surrounding the volcano which provides the slopes where this delectable coffee is grown, is responsible for the unusual taste as the soils drainage is superb and abundant tropical rains lend a purifying effect to the air in the valley.

The original coffee came from Tanzania and is the Dwarf Catimor tree which is a group of pure-line cultivars originating from crosses between two heritage plants. The coffee plant is known to be highly productive with a built in resistance to coffee leaf rust and to coffee berry disease (CBD).


locals connection

Amazingly the Tanna Island locals can navigate the scorching climates and terrain surrounding the powerful Vanuatu volcano which is home to the coffee they grow. As shepherds of their berries, they know the area surrounding the volcano well and also have become sensitive to the signs that tell them when the berries are ripe and ready to be processed.

The islands locals still live today in a way that has been untouched by western civilization - their traditions live on and are passed down from generation to generation which is rare in today's world.



Volcanic Earth Vanuatu has discovered the restorative Powers of Tamanu Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil and has packaged it into the perfect natural skin care product line. All of their products use these amazing oils. Try Volcanic Earth's skin care products to discover for yourself – the restorative powers of 100% natural 100% Vanuatu made and owned skincare. The island volcanic ash provides you with a wide range of beauty and health benefits due to its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-yeast and general purification, cleansing and exfoliating qualities. Come in to the Purple Hemp Co and ask us about the Volcanic Earth line.


sustainable coffee production on the island of tanna

The Tanna island communities have been empowered to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the “Fair Trade for a Fair Go” business practice, one which was put in place to help the locals bring to market, their own grown coffee. Their sustainable production has led to significant improvements in the lives of the smallholder growers. Member organizations such as Organic, the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, UTZ, etc. are backing the principles behind the production derived from Tanna on Vanuatu and the worldwide ethical consumer market has allowed such practices to not only exist, but to also thrive within the current world market environments. Collective efforts are made on all levels to allow for tracking and tracing of the coffees origin and systems are put in place to give incentives to local growers as they reap their own profits.

Tanna Island Coffee is a joint venture between Tanna Coffee Plantations (TCP) and INIK Co-operative. INIK is the engine that drives the industry at a grass roots level. As a mark of the partnership’s success, in early 2012 INIK Co-op started a 5 day a week delivery service of coffee seedlings to all parts of Tanna Island to kickstart replanting programs and boost production. For more information on the growing of this sustainable crop visit the highly informative Cafe Culture website.