On a gagné (We won!)

08/27/2009 - 1:35 PM

Last evening I received a joyous email from Emmanuel Rwakagara the General Manager at COOPAC cooperative in Gisenyi, Rwanda.  Emmanuel forwarded me an email from his Managing Director stating the results of a cupping competition that they recently won.  The competition was put on by East African Fine Coffee Association (EAFCA).  EAFCA is similar to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, but based in East Africa.  Each year, EAFCA holds a cupping competition to award the best coffees from the region.


This is exciting news for COOPAC and for TransFair USA and Global Producer Services. (GPS was created within TransFair USA as a hands-on approach to carrying out the mission of TransFair USA; empowering farmers to lift themselves out of poverty.)  Over the course of the past few years, GPS has worked very closely with COOPAC to design, construct, and finance a cupping laboratory at their headquarters in Gisenyi. GPS and COOPAC worked together to jointly fund the cupping laboratory in a unique financing model that used grant money, premium, and leveraged outside development funds to complete the construction.  In January 2009, the construction was completed and these lots of coffee that were entered into the competition are the first to be sampled, tasted, and provided feedback to farmers from this new cupping laboratory.   This is a huge success for COOPAC as they will receive positive market feedback for winning a competition like this. Below you will find a translated version of the email I received, along with a few images of the cupping laboratory and COOPAC members receiving cupping trainings.

dsc00803Good Evening,

I just wanted to tell you that the coffee that we presented at the “Taste of Harvest” competition at EAFCA closed this evening.  The great news is that of the four samples that we submitted two of the samples were successfully chosen in the 5 best coffees in Rwanda.  Even more, the coffee that won the entire competition was from our cooperative.  The “Kabrizi” coffee (a zone at Coopac) won the “Taste of the Harvest” this year!!  The fifth place coffee was “Nyamwenda” another coffee from our cooperative. We received a commemorative “Cup” for gaining first prize; the “Cup” is accompanied by certificates stating our accomplishment.  This also assures us that our success at the “Cup of Excellence” wasn’t by chance! This shows the continued importance of cupping! Thank You, Abdoul
08/27/2009 - 1:35 PM
08/27/2009 - 1:35 PM