Content submitted by Red Rocks Initiatives – Gregory
Submited Date : 27/05/2022
Women preparing coffee seedling

Gicumbi co cooperative ensures the socio economic reintegration of ex-poachers and vulnerable women into the coffee and cocoa sector in Northern Rwanda. The Project is committed to Planting, processing and marketing the entire coffee and cocoa crop year after year, our central concern is building a strong and sustainable business and establishing a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

This means ensuring that the Cooperative has the infrastructure and financing necessary to run their operations, produce great coffee and offer added value to their members. In the beginning, coffee brought the farmers together and made it possible for us to work in partnership. As the Cooperative develops, coffee continues to provide the foundation for our work together, and an opening to new opportunities for strengthening our partnership, and creating benefit for the farmers.

Our profit-sharing structure creates a powerful source of funding for the Cooperative’s business development needs. This innovative business model provides transparency for consumers and pushes the fair trade system towards greater equity for the farmers. Since then, the money from our profit-sharing program has been used to purchase land for the Cooperative’s future office and warehouse, fulfilling the dream of the Cooperative’s board for a permanent headquarters with established electricity, internet connections, and phone lines. More recently, the Cooperative has used the funds to subsidise the purchase of coffee seedlings for its members, and extended agricultural advising services, supporting the development of a stronger farming program and greater productivity for members.

Growth Micro-Finance
Currently, the Cooperative is working to create a comprehensive micro-finance initiative for its members. Beyond traditional small-scale loans, the Cooperative has established a matched-savings program as Quick Impact to incentivise long-term savings.