This year, we’ve come up with a creative way to give back to the Rwandan communities that provide us with exceptional coffee. The concept is simple: $1 from the sale of every bag of single-origin Rwandan coffee at Market Lane will be donated to a single co-op.
Every lot of coffee produced by RWASHOSCCO’s six cooperatives is cupped and scored by quality-control manager, Eugenie. At the end of the season, therefore, we can determine which co-op has the highest average score for their coffee over the entire year’s harvest.
The results will be announced and certificate presented to the winning co-op’s manager at the annual end-of-year meeting. (This is a time when all managers sit down to share their challenges and successes from the most recent harvest. A lot of learning happens here!)
Members of the winning co-op will then vote on an item or material good that will best benefit their collective. It may be livestock such as goats or cows, for example, or farming equipment such as pruning shears. Your dollar, collected from the purchase of our Rwandan coffee beans, will directly fund the purchase of this prize for quality.
The people who work in Rwanda’s young specialty coffee industry are always innovating and improving, and we love the idea of rewarding quality by helping supply farmers with something meaningful that will have a positive and direct impact on their work and livelihoods.
This initiative was devised with the input of Angelique from RWASHOSCCO and Sam from Buf Cafe, both of who will help implement it on the ground. We’re so excited about this new program, and hope to continue it every year!
Above: Very hard working woman sorting at the Maraba Sovu washing station from our visit in 2015.
Below: Last year we had the chance to interview a number of producer / co-op members of the Dukunde Kawa cooperative in Rwanda's North.