Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union (BJCU) in western Uganda started life as a rural microfinance society in 1999 before becoming a coffee cooperative. With 3,800 members, including 3,154 women (83%), the cooperative is central to the economy of the sub-county Kyarumba.

Fast Facts

  • Location: Kasese District, western Uganda
  • Altitude: 1,200 - 2,200m 
  • Founded: 1999
  • Members: 3,800, including 3,154 women
  • Coffee: Arabica
  • Variety: Bourbon
  • Type: Fairtrade, Organic
  • Quality: Fully-washed
  • Harvest: September- December & February – May
  • Flavour profile: good round sweetness and acidity, nice syrupy body, raisin, prune, root berry, and chocolate flavours

Headlines

  • Speciality-grade SCAA cupping scores
  • Strong leadership and committed membership

Quality and processing

Bukonzo Joint's members grow organic coffee and are constantly improving and innovating through a farmer field school programme, where small groups of farmers learn from each other and share best practices on sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation.

Projects

In 2008, Bukonzo Joint pioneered the use of the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in East Africa. GALS is a participatory women’s empowerment and gender equality programme.  The cooperative’s membership is now predominantly women and their gender programme is used as a best practice example for other producer organisation in the region.