Kopakama webpage

  • Region: Western province, Rutsiro district
  • Founded: 2005 
  • Producers: 797, including 284 women
  • Certifications:  Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, organic in process
  • Varieties: Bourbon 
  • Soil type: Sandy clay 
  • Harvest time: March to May and February to September 
  • Shipment time: May to December. Exported by Misozi 
  • Elevation: 1480-1900m 
  • Post-harvest process: Fully-washed at central washing station owned by the coop. Recently installed a new waste water filtration system, that includes water storage. This has served as a model for other Rwandan co-ops. Cherry compost is available and encouraged for member use. New dry mill in operation this season, partly funded by Fairtrade premium.
  • Quality and the cup: Fully Washed Arabica Grades A1 and A2, including Ejo Heza (A Beautiful Tomorrow) Coffee Grown by Women. Brown sugar, spice, lime, maple

Summary

Twin has been working with Kopakama for many years, and we are continually impressed by the cooperative’s dedication to improving their local communities. So far, they have brought in gravity-fed water to serve the community and used the Fairtrade premium to access electricity. They have also bought the cooperative’s Conference Hall. Their vision is to move together towards a more stable price and market for their coffee.

Ejo Heza

The cooperative's main coffee demonstration farming plot, Ejo Heza (A Beautiful Tomorrow), is farmed collectively by women. It has enabled more women to be members of the cooperative and to directly benefit from coffee farming, as well as participate in training and working in solidarity and with the support of other women, sharing childcare and knowledge.

In 2015, at the beginning of the Maanda project, Twin supported Ejo Heza to plant 3 species of agroforestry (Grevillea robusta, Croton megalocarpus and Policias fulva) as part of Good Agriculture Practices training. The National Agricultural Export Development board of Rwanda promotes using shade trees rather than intercropping (e.g. with bananas).