We are excited to be partnering with Challenges Worldwide, Twin Trading, Enactus UK and Matthew Algie on a new Scottish Government funded project working to strengthen the capacity of coffee co-operatives in Rwanda.

The coffee sector in Rwanda has played a key role in Rwanda’s recent success of lifting people out of poverty. Despite this, on the global scale, Rwanda is still regarded as a low quality producer of coffee due to problems such as poor infrastructure, lack of access to affordable finances, limited business management within producer organisations and a lack of international marketing opportunities.

This project will see the partners working in collaboration to:

  • improve operational effectiveness of producer organisations and strengthen organisational capacity
  • remove barriers to investment
  • increase coffee quality and production processes
  • adopt organic, Fairtrade and environmental verifications
  • address the lack of effective marketing and awareness of the international speciality coffee sector
  • help identify and address key value chain bottlenecks

The project hopes to further raise the quality of coffee ready for sale to international markets. Glasgow-based speciality coffee roaster, Matthew Algie, will advise on raising the quality of coffee ready for sale to international markets with an aim to increase the amount of Rwandan coffee for sale in speciality shops across Scotland.

The Scottish Fair Trade Forum’s involvement will include using our networks of retailers, consumers and campaigners to promote both awareness and purchasing of the Rwandan coffee and to help identify key purchasers in Scotland. At some point in the future, we will also be supporting a visit to Scotland by representatives of the coffee co-operatives to develop greater understanding of the product here in Scotland.

The official launch of the project took place in Edinburgh on Tuesday 5th December where we heard from Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe as well as from Eoghan Mackie, the Chief Executive of Challenges Worldwide on the importance of the project and what we hope to achieve from it. This was followed by Matthew Algie coffee tasting which included some delicious Rwandan coffee.