In 2011, the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) opened a chapter in Burundi. IWCA is an organization that focuses on empowering women in coffee producing countries and has 19 chapters around the world. The Burundi chapter’s mission is to “improve women's skills through training and information to enhance their role in Burundian society…and in the coffee sector.” The chapter pays premiums to members and has increased the visibility of farmer members to buyers. In addition, members have participated in food security projects and received coffee roasting equipment donated by our partner at origin. Farmers have relied on coffee production as a way to rebuild the country after decades of civil war and genocide that occurred in the 1970s and 1990s. Coffee is the #1 export for the country and its exportation has a major impact on the country’s economic viability.
Growing high-quality coffee has become not only a source of pride for them but also a means of empowerment. In a country where women’s contribution in the workforce is historically unrecognized, these women receive payments directly from JNP Coffee, based on the premium prices that their award-winning coffees achieve in the global market; money that they will use to build better lives for their families and their communities. Last year, more than 500 women from this group participated in premium payments and earned $0.53/pound. As their quality continues to improve, so do the premiums for the 2019 harvest.
Tropical Fruit, Brown Sugar, Red fruit
After the majority of pulp is removed, the coffee is washed with a small amount of water to ensure the coffee is 100% clean. After the washing process the coffee is sun dried on patios or raised beds and turned constantly to ensure even drying.
Busiga, Ngozi Provence
Coffee in Burundi is a logistical challenge from start to finish. It is a particularly poor country, with one of the lowest GDP in Africa. The country was hard hit by a 15-year civil war which ended in May 2008. Nevertheless, Burundi is still trying to find its political stability. The incentive program provided by JNP Coffee has had a huge impact on the regional economy. The premiums paid for producing higher quality lots has helped the local women producers gain independence and satisfaction knowing their contributions are improving community living conditions.
New in 2019
Increased staffing at JNP Coffee’s private cupping lab at origin with a licensed Q. Grader to curate and consistently verify quality of all JNP coffees. This person makes frequent trips to wet mills and dry mills to assure quality consistency
For the women of Karehe, JNP’s work goes beyond simple payments. As JNP Coffee believes that we are here to make a difference, and have partnered with Burundi Friends International to provide financial literacy classes, sharing knowledge on how best to save their funds and pool them together for greater impact.
As the number one export for Burundi, coffee plays a central role in the economic viability of one of the poorest countries in the world. JNP Coffee recognizes the power of education and that rewards for quality improvements have a value far beyond a flavorful cup.