Coocamu webpage

  • Region: Rutsiro district, Western province, sector Musasa
  • Founded: 2013
  • Producers: 368 producers, including 82 women
  • Certifications: Fairtrade
  • Varieties: Bourbon
  • Soil type: Sandy, volcanic
  • Harvest time: February/May to June
  • Shipment time: May to December
  • Elevation: 1486-1650m
  • Post-harvest process: Fully-washed at central washing station (owned by the coop); double fermentation (36 hours); dried on raised beds; parchment stored in warehouse (25MT capacity), currently wooden but construction of brick warehouse projected for next year; coffee pulp transformed into organic fertiliser with EM, lime and molasses.
  • Quality and the cup: Fully Washed Arabica Grades A1 and A2. Vanilla, blackberry, passionfruit, peach, lively red berry acidity

Summary

Coocamu enjoys the most stunning location of all of the Rwandan coops. A short walk from the edge of Lake Kivu, the only way to arrive is by a 45 minute boat ride across the Lake Kivu from Kibuye, where on arrival, visitors are greeted by a line of traditional wooden fishing boats. But the cooperative's idyllic location masks a difficult past. Before the cooperative existed, local people used to process their coffee at home. Farmers describe how strangers would sometimes arrive by boat and violently break and enter their homes to steal their coffee. It was practically impossible to track down culprits – they could have gone to Rwanda, or crossed over to the Congolese side of the lake. One of the cooperative's major achievements has been to end this situation – now members’ coffee is stored in a secure warehouse, and farmers’ no longer feel threatened by this violence and robbery.

Lots of improvements in infrastructure are being made at Coocamu. Working together with Coocamu at this early stage represents an opportunity to create a very unique and meaningful partnership.