Last week, our team in Rwanda organized the kick-off event for the new national program.
This event took place at the Maraba cooperative and among the participants were the general managers, presidents and other board members of Maraba; KOPAKAKI, Buhanga, Kigembe, Nyampinga and KOAKAKA cooperatives. From Progreso, we had our Rwanda Project Manager Viateur, our quality and production expert Yvette and our Africa Program Manager Daan present.
It was not entirely coincidental that this event took place at one of the cooperatives we work with, since this way we were able to combine this event with an exchange visit.
The event started with a welcome word by Viateur, followed by an introduction to Progreso by Daan. Next up was Aimable, the manager of Sholi cooperative, who explained the long-standing partnership between Sholi and Progreso, followed by a tour of the processing facility of Maraba by their Quality and Production manager, Christine. The day closed with a blind cupping session led by Christine and Yvette with all participants. And with the vast majority of the votes, KOPAKAKI’s coffee came out as the winner. This bling cupping was a good reminder for the participants that the quality of the coffee is key!
All in all, a very successful day that gave space for lots of discussions; for partners to get to know each other, thus creating the basis for a collaboration from the beginning of the project on; to share and exchange experiences on common challenges related to running a coffee cooperative in Rwanda and clarifying the project goal and activities to all the partners involved.