At St Remio, we’re all about encouraging people to think about where their cup of coffee is coming from, and most importantly, celebrating the people behind it.
In every cup of coffee you enjoy, there lies 1000 stories. Theirs. Yours. Mine. That’s the impact of each cup of coffee. Alongside sourcing sustainable, Rainforest Alliance coffee, we are also committed to giving back and supporting growing communities at origin.
We had a chat to a female Rwandan Coffee grower, Duhirwe (Anne-Marie) to learn about her story and role in coffee growing.
Tell me about yourself. Do you have children? Are you married? What do you enjoy doing?
I am a widower with 4 children, and I enjoy spending time at the farm.
Tell me about your role in coffee growing and what a typical day looks like for you. How long have you been growing coffee?
My role is mainly to take part in coffee plantation activities like weeding, threshing and harvesting. I have been growing coffee over the last 23 years.
What made you choose to work in coffee? Did your parents work in coffee? And if so, how long did they do it for?
Coffee farming helps me get out of poverty. It is an important crop that the whole country is relying on. It helps to resolve the problem of children’s school fees, and aids in providing access to health insurance.
Yes, my parents have been coffee farmers for around 60 years.
What does having a certification like Rainforest Alliance mean for coffee growers like yourself?
The environmental and social guidelines that are required for the Rainforest Alliance certification not only transforms our livelihoods, but in turn, it helps us sell out coffee.
What is the hardest part of coffee growing and the challenges you face?
The hardest part of coffee growing is the physical labour involved in maintaining the farm, as well as ensuring we have the financial means required to manage it.
What motivates you each day?
I am most motivated when I harvest a good quantity of coffee that is high in quality. My goal is to be one of the top farms in my location.
What is it like to be part of Cocagi femme and how do you support each other?
Together we can, that’s why Cocagi Femme exists. We have learned that bringing our efforts together will help us increase coffee production and productivity, which results in our life changing.
What would you like to see change about the coffee industry?
Definitely investing from the origin. Women are the cornerstone of the coffee business. If everyone involved could invest in supporting us, it would guarantee the sustainability of the coffee.
What makes Rwandan coffee so special?
What makes Rwandan coffee so special is the way that it is treated, from the farmer through to the point of export. The quality is maintained and assured by the government and all parties involved.
What do you love most about Rwanda?
The gender promotion policy. Because of this, women coffee growers feel valued, and doors have been opened now that we have the right to our coffee. We are no longer restricted with where we work, and we can now move up the coffee chain levels if we wish, meaning we don’t have to be at the farm at all times.
Anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to continue to have a good partnership with St Remio, so our women will be contributing to the Australian market. Making coffee encourages Rwandan women to bring their efforts together to improve their personal and economic development.
By purchasing St Remio Coffee you are choosing to empower the female coffee farmers like Anne-Marie. That's the St Remio difference!
Make the change today! www.stremio.com.au