Producer: 100 Smallholder farmers
Origin: Kiraro, Rwenzori Mountains
Varietal: SL14, SL28
Altitude: 1500-1800 metres above sea level
Flavours: Plum, Red Berries & Dark Chocolate
Importer: Agri Evolve
Harvest: October- February (Arrived UK June 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 crops 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 throughout the 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.
Kiraro is an area at the southern end of the Rwenzori Mountains in the far west of Uganda close to the border with D R Congo. It is a densely populated area with many smallholder farmers growing food for their families. Coffee is the main cash crop and farmers depend on their coffee to earn the money to pay for school fees. Agri Evolve works closely with over 200 farmers in this area and during the harvest season, they collect freshly harvested cherries from them daily. The cherries are transported to Nyabirongo where they are carefully processed and monitored until ready for hulling and export. They encourage farmers to use GAP - Good Agricultural Practices, to improve both the quality and quantity of the coffee grown. Often very old coffee trees need to be ‘stumped’ to promote fresh young growth which will lead to better yields.
Filter & Espresso