We specialize in the trade of directly sourced organically grown single origin premium and specialty coffees produced both in micro-lots and in by thousands of smallholder farmers who are spread out across various parts of the East African Rift Valley.
As a means of improving their lot, some progressive farmers made a decision to invest in village-level micro-washing stations with drying and storage facilities and undertook training to perfect their preparation of washed and naturally sun dried Arabica coffees.
For a long time, the Rwenzori Mountains were inaccessible and investment limited for years. Owing to armed conflict in the late 1990’s farmers had to leave the land because the area was unsettled by insurgents from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When they returned, coffee prices were at an all-time low and the only options were selling their coffee from their shamba’s (gardens) or carrying it to the local market.
The farmers who are mainly from the Bakonzo and Bamba tribes have sought to build upon this opportunity and now form part of a positive coffee co-operative movement of change in western Uganda. They are investing in their land, in production as well as social programs and are committed to organic coffee farming based on the four sustainability principles of traceability, quality, productivity enhancement and financial accountability.
The majority of members in the farmer-owned cooperatives are women. As it is an unusual situation to have such a high participation of women as stakeholders in coffee production, this represents a tremendous opportunity for women to achieve greater equality and influence over household income.