Region: Musasa, Gakenke District
Masl: 1500-2000 meters
Producer: Dukunde Kawa Cooperative
Along with producing some of the best coffee in Rwanda, the Musasa mill consistently receives praise from the most prestigious coffee institutions. Run by producer-members of the Dukunde Kawa cooperative, the Musasa mill employs 80% women and they use their earnings to improve the standards of living for themselves, their families, and their communities. In 2012, Dukunde Kawa won the Specialty Coffee Association of America Sustainability Award recognizing its investment in the community via access to healthcare, purchasing livestock, and programs to help the environment. In the cup, this fair-trade coffee presents a creamy body with heavy fig sweetness.
The families around the Musasa mill farm such small plots of land that measurements are taken by number of trees rather than area of land being farmed. The Dukunde Kawa cooperative started in 2000 with just 300 members and barely enough funds to build one wet mill. It has since grown to more than 1500 members, and has been able to build three more wet mills as well as a recently completed dry mill. Dukunde Kawa is one of the results of the USAID SPREAD project spearheaded by Dr. Tim Shilling, which was instrumental in the growth of the specialty coffee industry within Rwanda. The current president of the cooperative, Mr. Anasthase, confirms that their relationship with Fair Trade USA has been enormously beneficial to the producer-members of Dukunde Kawa. All of the members have access to health care and their children attend school and they are dedicated to using environmentally sustainable growing practices and responsible replanting efforts.