Anthropology and Social Enterprise – Sustainable Coffee

– social enterprise –

Dr. Carina Zur Strassen – Suan Lahu Coffee

Through Metiisto Fashion’s contacts with local influencers, community leaders, and social scientists, we’ve encountered some amazing people in the field of social enterprise.

One of these powerhouses of knowledge is Dr. Carina Zur Strassen. As an ethnic anthropologist, she is co-founding president of the Suan Lahu Coffee project in Vieng Pa Pao, deep in the mountains of Chiang Rai province.

Here, she’s been working for years on positive change and anthropology research within the Lahu Sheleh ethnic minority group.

“Join the digital initiatives sprouting up everywhere, regardless of your age, so you remain active”

Dr. Carina Zur Strassen

Sustainable Coffee Farming Goals

Suan Lahu is Thai for “The Lahu Garden.”

They strive to bring the intricate culture of the Lahu people into the growing, processing, and slow-roasting of one of the best organic Arabica coffees in Thailand.

Ever driven by the desire to see organic farming become a viable lifestyle in the highlands, they also endeavor to rehabilitate and preserve natural and cultural resources in the area.

If you’d like to support them with this, you can do so through the Suan Lahu website.

When we asked Suan Lahu’s founder Carina’s thoughts on empowering people during these difficult times, she had this to say:


  • Don’t expect to be empowered by an external force but use your strength to surface from hardship
  • Use this break to reflect, more profoundly than ever, on your actual purposes and commitments in life
  • Bring your brand of handmade fashion accessories to support your wonderfully resilient communities
  • Join the digital initiatives sprouting up everywhere, regardless of your age, so you remain active
  • See how your actions might serve as an example to people looking out for a different vibe

Connect with Nature

Does all of this sound too good to be true, and are you excited to participate and learn more about how a social enterprise is run?

Suan Lahu Coffee also offers internship programs.

During your stay, you’ll learn all about their organic farming practices. Also, diving deep into natural soil management, animal husbandry, and plant care. And all of this in synergy with the local Lahu Sheleh community.

Lo Ue, the farm manager, will instruct you on grafting fruit trees, grading and roasting coffee, recycling, composting and preparing natural fertilizers.

Reconnecting with nature in this way has been a life-changing experience for many interns. Here, they learn to appreciate their natural surroundings and feel a closer bond with nature. A connection that lasts long after they depart from the farm.

So come and make some new friends; Suan Lahu awaits you!