Producer: 100 Smallholder farmers
Origin: Kalingwe, Rwenzori Mountains
Varietal: SL14, SL28
Altitude: 1700-2000 metres above sea level
Flavours: Blackberry, Cherry, Raspberry
Importer: Agri Evolve
Harvest: October- February (Arrived UK May 2022)
Where is it from?
Agri Evolve Ltd is an agricultural development of Social Enterprise working with farmers in Uganda with the aim of improving yields, improving profits, and improving lives. They are helping coffee farmers to improve the quality and quantity of their coffee crop and provide a good market by paying good prices and paying promptly.
Since 2018 they have been importing the best of the coffee we produce into the UK. They supply green coffee to Coffee Roasters throughoutthe UK using the trading name Rwenzori Coffee Co. It’s a family business, with Jonny the MD heading up the team in Uganda, and Martin providing the link and supplying green coffee to Coffee Roasters in the UK. We first met Martin at Manchester Coffee Festival in 2017 and have since built up a great relationship and have been very impressed with the coffees we have been able to roast.
Agri Evolve has grown steadily over the past 4 years and now has a team of 60 full-time staff in Uganda. Field Officers and Agronomists carry out training with the farmers whilst the production team make sure everything runs smoothly at Kisinga Coffee Station. The quality team have the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating every stage of the process to ensure the highest standards are achieved. They work closely with an established Coffee Exporter, Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd who supplies the investment and infrastructure to enable the business to operate, but it is the Agri Evolve team that makes everything happen on the ground.
Arabica Coffee has been grown in the Rwenzori region for as long as anyone can remember, and the conditions of high rainfall, the altitude from 1300 to over 2000 masl and volcanic soils are perfect for the production of high-quality speciality arabica coffee.
Practically all coffee is grown by smallholder farmers who have coffee trees growing in their fields alongside other crops. The typical size of a plot is between 1 and 2 acres. The main varietals are SL28 and SL14, but with a range of other older varietals. This mix of varietals contributes to the complexity of the coffee produced.
In the past, coffee from this area has not had a good reputation. Poor harvesting and processing and long delays in processing and shipping resulted in an inconsistent, unreliable and low-grade product.
Agri Evolve is committed to turning that around, and in just a few years they have seen a significant improvement. Motivating the farmers to harvest only red cherries by paying top price for the very best cherries is where it starts, and then careful processing and adhering to the highest standards means that we can offer Roasters around the world a bright, fruity and exciting coffee which regularly scores 85 and above.
Kalingwe is the name of a community high in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in the far west of Uganda. Agri Evolve has been working with groups of farmers in this area for the past 5 years and has developed excellent relationships. The Farmers understand the requirements for fully ripe red ‘cherries’, freshly harvested, and we pay top prices on the day of delivery. It’s a relationship of trust, support and commitment. In addition to helping the farmers develop their coffee production we are providing energy-efficient stoves for members of the groups, and providing tree seedlings for farmers to plant. Local farmers have increased confidence in the reliability of the structures we have in place, so they can plan to increase production, and thus improve their livelihoods through more successful and profitable farm.
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