At St Remio, we want to encourage people to think about where their cup of coffee is coming from, and most importantly, celebrate the people behind it.
In every cup of coffee you enjoy, there is 1000 stories behind it. 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, NYIRANGIRIMANA (Francine) to learn about her story and role as coffee grower.
2.Tell me about yourself. Do you have children? Are you married? What do you enjoy doing?
I am married with 2 children. I enjoy seeing my family have a good life, and my children going to school and getting good marks.
3.Tell me about your role in coffee growing and a typical day looks like for you. How long have been growing coffee?
My role is mainly taking part in coffee plantation activities like weeding, mulching and controlling diseases and pests that can affect my coffee plantation which can reduce my production. I have been growing coffee over the last 7 years.
4.What made you choose to work in coffee? Were your parents coffee growers? And if so, how long did they do it for?
The coffee farming helps me get out of poverty. It is an important crop the whole county relies on. It helps resolve the problem of children’s school fees, and limited access to health insurance. If the coffee season is good, it allows us to buy new land to extend our coffee growing activities, which increases food availability for families.
The coffee farming helps me access bank credit that allows us to take part in other projects that contribute towards sustainable development.
Yes, my parents have been coffee growers for around 50 years.
5.What does having a certification like Rainforest Alliance mean for coffee growers like yourself?
Apart from the environmental and social requirements that transform our livelihoods, the Rainforest Alliance certification helps us sell our coffee at a higher price which increases the premium given to the farmers.
6.What is hardest part of coffee growing and the challenges you face?
All activities in coffee growing can be challenging. This includes the physical energy needed to maintain the farm, as well as financial costs associated with purchasing fertilizers which can be expensive. The price of transporting organic manure is also very costly.
7.What motivates you each day?
My main motivation is increasing the coffee production and maximising the quality to quantity ratio which helps earn more money. This in turn helps us contribute more money which we can put towards other activities that help our development.
8.What is it like to be part of Cocagi femme and how do you support each other?
Being a part of Cocagi Femme means we work as a team by putting our efforts together. Through this teamwork we can increase coffee production and productivity which changes our livelihoods. We also encourage suggestions on how to do things differently.
9.What would you like to see change about the coffee industry?
I would like to see more investing from the origin and the women within them. The women are fundamental to the coffee business. If all actors could invest in supporting us it would guarantee the sustainability of our coffee.
10.What makes Rwandan coffee so special?
Rwandan coffee is special because of the treatment of the farmers as well as their living conditions and fields.
11.What do you love most about RWANDA?
The gender promotion policy. It makes women coffee growers feel like they are valued. Doors have opened for us now that we have the right to our coffee. We are no longer restricted to the coffee plots only. Now we can move up the coffee chain levels if we wish.
12.Anything else you would like to say?
I’d like to continue having a good partnership with St Remio, this continues to expose us to the Australian market. Making coffee encourages Rwandan women to bring their efforts together and grow coffee professionally, which helps benefit their economic development.
By purchasing St Remio Coffee you are choosing to empower female coffee farmers like Francine. That's the St Remio difference!
Make the change today! www.stremio.com.au