Let’s Talk Coffee Rwanda will take place June 7-11, and highlight the continued partnerships between buyers and female coffee farmers.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of the Relationship Coffee Institute
The Relationship Coffee Institute, a non-profit started by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sustainable Harvest, has announced dates for this year’s Let’s Talk Coffee Rwanda. The event will run from June 7-11 in the capital city of Kigali, and will bring together producers and buyers in the largest cupping and buying event for this year’s harvest. “The event will feature coffees and delegates from 56 cooperatives representing over 13,000 women coffee farmers from all over the country,” a press release states.
The Relationship Coffee Institute was formed in 2013 to provide training and market access to female coffee producers, and has been working with women farmers in Rwanda since its inception. This year’s Let’s Talk Coffee is a culmination of this partnership, allowing buyers to taste coffees at origin and connect with producers. Along with tasting some of the best coffees from all over Rwanda, the event will also feature a ‘Build Your Own Lot’ program in which buyers can taste coffees and build their own lot to purchase.
“The cupping tables at the event will feature some of the highest-scoring coffees from Rwanda,” says Ruth Coleman, executive director of the Relationship Coffee Institute. “Attendees will taste coffees from all of Rwanda’s growing regions and discover new coffees. Best of all, many of the women who produced the coffees will be in the room.”
Along with tasting coffees, the event will feature talks and workshops highlighting specific issues in coffee and Rwanda, including how to tackle issues of climate change, leveraging government innovation and support, and establishing relationships between public and private sector businesses. Attendees can also elect to add time before or after the conference to visit farms across Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the past, Let’s Talk Coffee Rwanda has been both an educational opportunity for farmers and buyers to learn more about each other’s role in the coffee supply chain and a celebration of the hard work being done at origin to improve coffee quality and realize the full potential of Rwandan coffee. Speakers and presenters from all over the supply chain—including roasters, educators, and farmers—have spoken at past events, and producers have been able to see their coffees fetch higher prices through increased market transparency. The price for attendance is only $150, so register now to take part in this event.