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Our sourcing strategy in Rwanda centers around three tenets: 1) build a market for new groups with potential, 2) support women in leadership positions, and 3) buy top quality. We are able to follow all three tenets with up and coming suppliers to the north of Kigali and with small motivated certified cooperatives along Lake Kivu. We began working with these groups to assist with washing station auditing and quality feedback. Little by little, we have moved into purchasing.
Natural process coffee that meets specialty standards is almost non-existent in Rwanda. After decades of the country transitioning from semi-washed to fully-washed, producers lack robust knowledge on how to produce quality naturals. Yet, our search for the best new groups brings us to a small women’s group along Lake Muhazi who has excelled at naturals and other experimental processes. These are the change-agents in specialty coffee in Rwanda, and we are proud to market their hard work.