East Africa

Rwanda’s best fairtrade coffees recognised

KIGALI– Bwishaza Coffee Cooperative and Abateraninkunga ba sholi were recently announced as the winners of the second edition of the Rwanda Kombe la Dhahabu Fairtrade Coffee Quality Contest.

Bwishaza emerged as a double winner, taking the winner and first runner- up positions with a cupping score of 89.50 for two of its coffee samples. Abateraninkunga ba sholi emerged as the 2nd runner up with its unwashed and washed coffee recording a cupping score of 88.83.

First held in 2021, Kombe la Dhahabu aims to encourage the production of high-quality coffees by Fairtrade producers. It further seeks to grow markets for these coffees nationally and internationally by promoting winning coffees at key international marketing events.

Speaking at the award ceremony that was officially opened by Theophile Biziyaremye, Chairman of the Rwanda Coffee Network, Josue Imanikuzwe, Chairperson of Bwishaza Coffee Cooperative expressed his excitement over the excellent scores recorded in the second edition of the competition. “We tested our coffee samples in our cupping labs which assured us of the quality of our coffee. Next year, we want to improve our scores even more so we must work with our farmers to continually enhance the quality of our coffee.”

Representing Abateraninkunga ba sholi which is located in the south of Rwanda, Aimable Nshimiye, who is the Managing Director of the cooperative, equally expressed excitement over the results of the coffee quality contest. Like Bwishaza, ba Sholi runs a cupping lab within its factory where it consistently tracks the quality of its coffees for improvement. “We know what the export requirements are so we run our business professionally. We invest in our farmers by providing them with input and train them on quality production.”

“We have also tracked the varying coffee qualities depending on the altitude and soil type of the different areas where our farmers grow their coffee. We collect and process harvests from these regions separately to help us maintain their quality,” he adds.

Abateraninkunga ba sholi is a second time winner, having emerged as the winner and first runner up in the first edition of the Rwanda Kombe la Dhahabu Coffee Quality Contest held in 2021.

This year’s contest attracted a total of 38 coffee samples. Of these, 3 were from Faritrade certified Producer organisations in Burundi, 5 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 30 from Rwandan coffee producers.

Muungano Coffee Cooperative from DRC and Nkamwayacu from Burundi emerged as some of the notable contestants. Both emerged in the top ten list of highest scoring coffees, with an average score of 88.67 and 88 respectively.

The Kombe la Dhahabu coffee quality contest seeks to encourage the production of high-quality coffees among Fairtrade certified producers for subsequent expansion of markets and increased benefits to smallholder coffee farmers.


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