We’re very excited for this week’s Let’s Talk Coffee® Best of Rwanda, which will bring 100 rural smallholder women farmers together with the international coffee community. The event takes place Wednesday through Friday at the Serena Hotel in Kigali.
This is our second Let’s Talk Coffee® event in Rwanda. The first one, held in February 2014 in Kayonza, introduced our nonprofit entity in Rwanda, the Relationship Coffee Institute (RCI). Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, RCI was founded with the goal of connecting rural women farmers to the international market through training and market access.
Now in its third year of operation, RCI has trained 4,000 women farmers, who through their hard work and strength have transformed themselves into international businesspeople. Let’s Talk Coffee® Best of Rwanda will celebrate these women, connecting them to both the Rwandan community—including members of government and many local businesses—and the international business world.
There will be training opportunities to further the women’s educational development: Workshops will cover topics including coffee evaluation and grading; financial literacy; and the basics of coffee roasting. Attendees will also see a
program of thought-provoking content that will include:
- Sessions on promoting the unique story of Rwandan coffee, with panelists including storytelling and media experts, as well as representatives from North American roa
sting companies Stumptown Coffee, Equator Coffees and Teas, and Reunion Island Coffee
- Explorations of innovation in the coffee supply chain in Rwanda, from unique processing methods to new profit-sharing models and organizational structures
- A Latte Art Competition featuring baristas from the Rwandan coffee community
Stay tuned this week for dispatches from Rwanda highlighting some of the unique happenings at the event. Also check for updates via social media: We’ll be posting from @LTCoffee using the hashtags #powerofwomen, #bestofrwanda, and #letstalkcoffee. And before the event starts, check out the 2014 Let’s Talk Coffee® Rwanda video here.