Tuesday, October 31, 2017

TREAT! Today is the Big Day in Mushubati, Rwanda

October 31, 2017
Leaders of Ejo Heza, convening the 2017 assembly.
Today was the BIG DAY in the mountain village of Mushubati that overlooks Lake Kivu. It was the day of the Ejo Heza General Assembly. Ejo Heza is the name of the cooperative of about 300 women from which Artisan Coffee has been buying coffee for two years now, it means "bright tomorrow." They are a "sub-group" of the larger and well-established KOPAKAMA cooperative with about 700 members. The general assembly is the annual meeting where the leadership gives reports about the past year and distributes the "second payment" to members. They receive the premiums they have earned on coffee sold to buyers (like Artisan) who specify an amount per KG green coffee to go to the farmer. Since the cooperative tracks how many kilograms of cherry each woman brings to the washing station, they are able to make the conversions (dollars to RWF, KG green to KG cherry) and pay the women fairly, each according to how much she brought.

Documentation is part of the coffee contract. The form that each woman has to sign when she receives her cash from the group's treasurer will be sent to Artisan soon and available for roaster-customers. [Ed. note: received the following week!] Meanwhile, today, Carpe Diem! While you host some "trick-or-treat" visitors this evening, know that many families in this mountainous region of Rwanda are so proud and happy to be coffee farmers today. They have received more than a treat, they have received much hope for a bright tomorrow, and they are dancing! See video below:

Artisan Coffee Imports is taking requests for arrival samples. Click here to request yours! Coffee is due in to Continental Terminals Nov. 13 -17. Available at the Annex in Oakland, CA, first week of December.

Frederic HAKIZIMANA - washing station manager, addresses the general assembly.

Ejo Heza members picking coffee in their community plot.
View of Lake Kivu from Mushubati.