ICU – Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus is implementing the project ‘A market driven approach for value chain improvements and the expansion of the Rwandan coffee market’ in Rwanda in partnership with Kahawatu Foundation. The EUR 2.5 million project is co-funded by the European Union.
In line with the objectives of objectives of increasing exports to international markets, ICU facilitates visits for international coffee buyers to Rwanda. The purpose of these visits is to establish direct linkages between buyers and Rwandan coffee producers and provide an opportunity for buyers to more about the farmers stories behind the coffee they buy. It is in this regard that Mr. Alberto Polojac from Imperator- An Italian Specialty Coffee buyer visited five (5) Coffee Washing Stations (CWS) supported by ICU.
The 7-day visit started on 26th May till 1st June 2022, and during which Alberto visited Nova Coffee, Sake Farm, Mubuga Coffee, COOCAMU Coffee Cooperative and Fugi CWS (Nyampinga). He also held a meeting with representatives of the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) to discuss about opportunities in the Rwandan Coffee Sector.
During this visit, Alberto had an opportunity to cup 16 different samples (lots) from CWS supported by project. All samples scored 85 SCAA points with one for sample from Fugi CWS scoring 90 SCAA point thus qualifying as Presidential Coffee in the Specialty category. The quality of these coffees caught the interest of Mr. Alberto and direct discussion with CWSs are ongoing with a promised to buy 2 containers from them this season.
The next buyer visit is schedule in July 2022 where a representative of a USA based coffee company will be visiting there-women owned CWSs that are supported by the project.