|Taste||Cherry, maple and oak.|
Karambi is a cooperative and central washing station in Nyamasheke, western Rwanda. There are currently 799 members of this co-op, with farms averaging one hectare per family. Karambi is known to yield clean, balanced, consistent coffees, benefitting from its new construction (2016) under the supervision of Rwacof, an exporting operation based in Kigali. Since Karambi began processing coffee, Rwacof has assisted in upholding diligent quality control and attention to detail, positioning these coffees for positive reception as cooperative membership continues to grow.
In addition to its loveliness in the cup, with this selection we are proud to participate in the Farmgate Initiative, a project organized by our importing partners, Sucafina. The Farmgate Initiative allows us to make additional payments directly to the farmers whose coffee comprises this lot, by building a secondary direct-to-farmer compensation into our sales contract. These secondary payments, made by dozens of roasters through a variety of supply chains around the world, are remitted to farmers in the fourth quarter of the year following harvest. Keeping in mind that farmers are ordinarily paid solely upon delivering coffee cherries to their washing station, this second scheduled income is a strong step toward superior compensation structure in cooperative supply chains. This is made possible by Sucafina and Rwacof’s partnership with the Rwanda Equity Bank, which provides smallholder farmer access to bank accounts, credit, and loans, with the heightened security and lower administrative costs of digital payments compared to cash.
Over the course of this coffee’s stay on our menu, we will add over $1,000 in secondary payments to Karambi’s membership. Though modest on its own, this sum is part of a larger network that we will continue to monitor as the seasons progress. In the cup, we taste cherry, maple, and oak.