TWIN in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) implemented a two year project to strengthen export capabilities of twenty coffee cooperatives in Rwanda and Burundi with a specific focus on supporting cooperatives in: attaining certification, increasing access to Specialty Coffee markets, improving quality of the coffee produced and developing a traceability programme for coffee grown by women.
This export capabilities study identifies actors, value addition, financial analysis, market demands and the enabling environment. We have assessed the export capability of each of twenty coffee cooperatives on a range of indicators, leading to a segmentation. Furthermore, we identified general trends in export opportunities and challenges for both origins.
Even though Burundi has very high quality coffee according to buyers, there are still a lot of basics that need to be covered to be able to market the coffee successfully. Major challenges still exist in logistics, speed, traceability, reliability of pre-shipment samples, communication and marketing.
Rwanda is seen as well-organised and it is a coffee of good quality, there are certain constraints put forward by the buyers with regards to the marketing of the coffee. Flavour is not as unique and other differentiation is needed to compete in the specialty segment. Cooperatives are not always able to provide reliable pre-shipment samples and have limited knowledge of the market and pricing.