Rwanda Gashonga - Women's Cooperative

Tasting Notes: Orange, Toffee, Peanut Brittle

Region - Gashonga Sector, Rusizi District, Southwestern Rwanda
Process - Washed
Harvest - December to April
Elevation - 1,650 MASL
Varietal - Bourbon

About the Producer - Gashonga Cooperative

In 2009, 85 women coffee farmers started the Gashonga Cooperative to pool their resources and become stronger as a group. The cooperative struggled in its early months, as it suffered from poor management and was unable to find market access. However, the cooperative persevered and grew stronger, thanks in part to training from the nonprofit sustainable growers. These trainings taught farmers about best agricultural practices to improve quality and volume. The trainings also stressed to the farmers the importance of working together as a team to improve the cooperatives collective future.

Today, the cooperative is fair trade certified, has grown to 104 members, and has managed to increase its income from coffee. With these increased profits, gashonga has invested in inititatives such as education for its members and agronomic inputs to strengthen its coffee plants. Gashonga’s members have been able to aquire health insurance, imporving their security and safety through their success.