While we’re literally only just starting to sell our 2019 offering, our partners in Rwanda are hard at work to plan for 2020 and distribute the right knowledge and fertilisers.

Fertilisers

Wait… fertilisers!?!? Isn’t that a bad thing?

Sometimes yes, frequently no. Heavy use of fertilisers without considering what the soil actually needs can damage the soil and its microorganisms, and cause pollution. However not caring for the soil and replenishing the nutrients consumed by the trees means ever diminishing yields, plus greater susceptibility to disease and pests. It’s a tricky responsibility. To get the right balance, you need knowledge & education. 

At Gitesi, education is key

This is where the washing stations play a vital role. Aime, our long-term partner and the owner of the Gitesi washing station, offers classes to all the smallholder farmers  who deliver cherry to his station. So while we are sipping our first test-batches for this year’s Christmas coffee, Aime and his team are out in the field making sure all future lots of this coffee shine as brightly as the coffees that have landed in Belgium just this week.

Here are some of the topics Aime covers during his classes:

  1. Soil conservation and protection against erosion;
  2. Integrated pest and disease management;
  3. Ecosystems conservation and wildlife protection;
  4. Water conservation;
  5. Waste management;
  6. Environmental and social management;
  7. Land management;
  8. Living well in communities;
  9. Savings and management of income;
  10. Fair treatment and good working conditions of employees; 
  11. Occupational health and safety. 

Many of the Gitesi lots sold before landing but we have a few left, and knowing Gitesi coffees, they’ll have opened up quite nicely from PSS to arrival. Check out these lots and order a sample:

Mahembe

We met Justin, owner of the Mahembe washing station, back in 2012, and we immediately loved his coffee. Since those early days, Justin has proven himself again and again, delivering consistently good quality coffee every year. We are so impressed with the work his team put in and the extremely knowledgeable staff at both the washing station and his own farm. It’s quite remarkable how smoothly he runs his operation.

Setbacks 

All that is quite positive, but what I also wanted to share with all of you what it can mean to live and run your business in a tropical country. The weather can be unpredictable, heavy rains, floods and in Mahembe’s case this season, a massive lightning storm that destroyed the de-pulper and its surrounding building. This was a pretty big setback, but Justin still managed to get all our coffees processed and delivered on time. I am very happy to note these coffees are tasting crazy good this season. Our pre-commitments to volume and our local partner’s commitment to pre-finance Mahembe help producers overcome obstacles like these.

We’re super happy to announce that they have once again delivered, get your hands on the last couple lots here:

Get in touch with us if you’re looking for more info, samples or pre-reservations.

Have a great week and don’t forget to smile. Christmas is coming! 

Jamie

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