MUUNGANO means “Togetherness” in Swahili, and it was in that spirit that in 2009, 350 founding members came together and founded the Muungano Coffee Cooperative in eastern DR Congo. Located on the slopes near the shores of Lake Kivu, this coop today has over 4,300 farmers investing in coffee and their communities. It is a young cooperative that exports up to five containers per year of specialty coffees to Europe and the US. It owns two main washing stations and one smaller one. Most of the farmers (95%) deliver fresh cherries to the cooperative and 5% of them wet process the coffee at the farm level. On average, a farmer grows 1/3 hectare of coffee. Once coffee is processed and dried in South Kivu, it is sent to the Jumbo Safari dry mill in Goma to be sorted. Then, when ready, the coffee is loaded onto a truck to make the long road to the port of Mombasa, Kenya. Muungano members live in different communities that were divided by the civil war. However, these dedicated coffee farmers made the choice to combine their strengths in order to build a great future for their communities. They work hard every day in order to produce a high quality coffee and please coffee lovers’ mornings everywhere in the world.
Tasting Profile: Milk chocolate, lemon, chamomile and fig with a syrupy body and juicy acidity.
Social Premium Investment: 2020 Crop YearFair Trade Certification guarantees 20 cents/lb of the price paid a producer organization is set aside as a social premium. How this money is invested is a decision taken collectively by the general assembly of members at the end of each harvest. Below is a break down of how producers in this organization chose to spend their fair trade premium.
Community DevelopmentConstruction of a local health clinic to benefit Muungano members and other members of the community. Also investment into the fabrication of cinder blocs for other community construction projects
InfastructureInvestment in purchasing a plot of land and construction of 20 drying tables. Purchase of a pulping machine and construction of a warehouse. on that location Readapting drying tables at Nyabirehe, Karango, Buchiro, Kiniezire and Chebumba
Improve YieldsThe cooperative has built coffee and shade tree nurseries jointly ith support from village associations and local loans and savings cooperatives.
OperationsPayment of agronomist technicians and other permanent agentss working for the cooperative.