Vuasu webpage

  • Country: Tanzania 
  • Region: The Pare Mountains in the Same and Mwanga districts of the Kilimanjaro region, Northeastern Tanzania 
  • Founded: 1984 
  • Producers: 3765, including 514 women, in 16 primary societies 
  • Harvest time: July to March 
  • Post-harvest process: Farmer-Washed Arabica. Demonstration farm plots, model farmers, and climate-smart best practice agricultural training for farmers across the cooperative  
  • Certifications: Expecting Fairtrade certification later in 2017; beginning conversion to organic, expected in 2020 
  • Varieties: Existing coffee trees, establishing nurseries for new seedlings from local and new TACRI varieties. 
  • Elevation: 1500-1600m 
  • Soil type: Rich, highland soil 
  • Quality and the cup: Grades AAA, AA, AB, PB, C, E 

Summary

In Kipari, the local language, 'Vuasu' means 'unity'. The cooperative's vision is to work together - men, women and youth - to build a stronger economy through coffee.

After more than 30 years VCU (Vuasu Cooperative Union) is transforming itself to harness the potential of its coffee and focus on exporting to the international specialty market. Smallholder farmers around Kilimanjaro are regrouping to upskill in areas of sustainable farming and quality processing. Through GALS training and gender work at the cooperative level, younger farmers and women are being encouraged to engage more in coffee farming so a profitable future can be forged for the whole community.   

As part of Vuasu’s makeover, farmers are busy implementing Good Agricultural Practices and learning about consistent quality processing for their farm-washed coffee.  Fairtrade certification will hopefully lead to an opening up of new export markets for Vuasu’s excellent coffee, and farmers are excited about new opportunities on the horizon.