Rwanda - COOPAC - COOPROCAKI - Kabirizi Washing Station [Certified Organic and Fair Trade]
From Northwest Rwanda, this coffee is mellow and well-rounded. A full-flavored African coffee, roasted medium-dark.
Information directly from the cooperative:
Coopac was established in April of 2001 with 1100 memebers aiming to regenerate the coffee sector in the Gisenyi region of Lake Kivu. The initial objectives was to take advantage of the excellent natural resources in our region and focus on producing the highest quality coffee for the gourmet market so as to gain higher returns for our collective efforts and thereby increase the well being of all our members. COOPAC coffee prices have been steadily climbing in recognition of the quality improvements, and, in turn, the well being of its members have drastically improved through FairTrade initiatives that guarantee the farmers get their fair share. COOPAC went on to construct the Nyamwenda washing station in 2003 with partial grant, partial credit. Today, some 50 washing stations dot the northern lake landscape and COOPAC has achieved FLO certification. The membership in 2004 had risen to 1,500 members. Currently that number stands at 8,000 members from the six areas of Ack, Ubuzima, Tuzamurane, Kopabm, Abakundakurima and Abanyamurava.
This subgroup of COOPAC is called COOPROCAKI: Coopérative des Producteurs du Café de Kivumu. There are 975 growers represented by the group, which was formed in 2016. These producers grow coffee in volcanic soil, harvesting cherry and delivering them the same day to the Kabirizi Washing Station for purchasing. At the mill, the coffee is depulped the day of delivery, fermented dry for 12 hours and then given a 24-hour wet fermentation or a "soak," and then washed three times to remove the mucilage. Coffee is then dried in mechanical dryers or raised beds for about 2–3 weeks.
COOPAC is committed to environmental and social sustainability in addition to producing high-quality coffee. Waste by-products from processing are used as fertilizer rather than discarded into the lake, and shade trees are distributed to farmers to prevent soil erosion. COOPAC has assisted in the construction of a school, health-care clinics, and roads and bridges in the community. The cooperative also has a program to distribute cows and goats to the most productive farmers and provides farmers with an agricultural advisor to teach the latest production methods.
COOPAC is currently promoting and providing shade tree saplings and agroforestry education to all its members so as to adhere to strict organic practices with ongoing assistance provided to community based initiatives which has so far enabled in the construction of schools, health-care clinics, roads and bridges as well as local women and youth development programs.