Coopérative pour la Promotion des Activités Café (COOPAC) is located in the Rutsiro and Rubavu districts of the Western Province of Rwanda, near Lake Kivu’s steep volcanic slopes. The volcanic terrain, high altitude and heavy rainfall create a perfect environment for producing delicious and exotic Arabica coffee. The cooperative, which began in 2001 with just 110 farmers, now boasts 2,200 members. COOPAC has been Fair Trade Certified TM since 2003. COOPAC was founded by native Rwandans. Their comprehensive knowledge about the land, language, culture and community needs enable the farmers to produce a quality coffee bean harvest. The cooperative president, Emmanuel Rwakagara, is driven to create a coffee of superior quality and pursues this relentlessly with cooperative members. Excellent coffee quality and Fair Trade certification have enabled COOPAC to sustain efforts for socio-economic development. Coffee has long been Rwanda’s largest export, but the genocide of 1994 brought production to a halt. The genocide destroyed the country and with nearly one million lives lost in just 90 days. With assistance from international political bodies and the tremendous courage of the Rwandan people, a degree of stability has been brought back to the country. Members have overcome great obstacles utilizing their agricultural knowledge to sustain their recovering land for the benefit of their community. COOPAC coffee has a pleasant acidity with grapefruit notes and citric overtones of sweet lemon and lime. In 2007, COOPAC took first place among Rwandan producers in the Eastern African Fine Coffee Association cupping competition and placed third overall with a cupping score of 87. In 2010, they won the Rwanda Cup of Excellence - a strict competition that selects the very best coffees produced from around the country.
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