Rebecca Mundy on the shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda
Roughly a 1 minute read
We buy a lot of our coffee from Rwanda. Its soil imparts a brilliantly fruity flavour, and we think that’s a great addition to some of our everyday blends.
In March 2019, Rebecca Mundy (one of our coffee wizards) flew out to spend 12 days with the Kopakama Cooperative — a small farming community nestled on the shores of lake Kivu. While staying at the Kopakama Cooperative, Rebecca helped to orchestrate the business’s annual review and she also managed to taste-test some of their latest crop (lucky her!).
It wasn’t all about coffee though: A key part of her visit involved meeting some of the women from Ejo Heza, Kopakama’s Women’s Group.
The Ejo Heza group was set up to heal divisions in the community, and promote female solidarity after the Rwandan genocide. It gave women who did not have direct access to land the opportunity to produce coffee in their own right, and it’s enabled more women to be members of the cooperative, which has been great for the community.
In the last two years, we have helped Ejo Heza to purchase more land, established a savings and loans fund for the women to access, and provided training to women in financial literacy and leadership.
“We’ve only been working with Kopakama for a few years but we’ve achieved a great deal through our partnership, including helping them to gain Rainforest Alliance Certification in 2017. I last visited Kopakama in 2015, before we started buying their coffee. Seeing the strides they have made in this short time was hugely impressive- from improving environmental practices to improving the lives of their members.
To know Taylors has played a significant part in these developments is fantastic. I was particularly lucky to spend time with the members of Ejo Heza, and learn more about the difference the group has made to their lives, as well as the challenges they continue to face. The women were particularly excited to see the bags of their roasted coffee I’d brought to show them from Harrogate. Their coffee is consistently of exceptional quality, and seeing the pride they take in producing it and holding our product in their hands was incredible.”
Last updated 22nd January 2020