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Twongere Umusaruro

Eastern Province, Rwanda

Meet Twongere Umusaruro

Life has changed dramatically in the last few years for the members of Twongere Umusaruro: They’ve achieved new levels of quality and yield for their coffee, and in turn have captured much more of its value. The cooperative grows coffee in the rolling hills of eastern Rwanda, where temperatures, rainfall, and ecological conditions present the possibility of producing exceptional coffee. However, for many years the members of Twongere Umusaruro—93 percent of whom are women—didn’t have the resources and information to realize the full value of their coffee. Through key partnerships creating essential access to these resources and information, the cooperative could bring its unique coffee to its full potential.

In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers formed a partnership to create the nonprofit Relationship Coffee Institute in order to deliver training in agronomy, market access, and quality control to the farmers of Twongere Umusaruro. The results were transformative: Between 2013 and 2015, the cooperative’s members increased their monthly income from coffee by 194 percent and their yield per coffee tree by 187 percent. (The latter statistic is an apt one, as the cooperative’s name translates to “Increase Production”).

A key factor in Twongere Umusaruro’s increased income was the 2014 construction of its washing station: There the co-op could process its coffee before export, allowing it to control the product further along the coffee value chain and in turn realize more of its value.

The results of these farmers’ tireless work are evident in the coffee. It’s a sophisticated, delicious cup with notes of stone fruit and chocolate. The coffee evokes a tangible feeling of impact, and we’re very excited to share it with you.

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