On September 2nd, 2022, ten (10) selected Rwandan export companies have brought their coffee samples to be tasted during the first exclusive coffee cupping sessions after the COVID-19 pandemic, hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in The Hague.
The cupping event was organized by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), the Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus (ICU) and Coffee Cupping International (CCI), with support from the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to attract the interest of international connoisseurs, buyers, wholesalers, roasters, baristas, and other professionals in the coffee sector. The following 10 Rwandan coffees were cupped: Nova Coffee, Huye Mountain Coffee, Kivu Belt Coffee, Nyakizu Mountain Coffee, Mubuga Coffee, Fugi Washing station, Coocamu Cooperative, Simbi Coffee, Rwashoscco and Sholi.
The initiative is part of ICU’s Coffee Value Chain Development project that has the goal to improve quality and quantity of coffee produced by smallholder farmers, strengthen coffee processing companies and cooperatives to build more sustainable businesses, facilitate access to finance and increase visibility on the international market. The project is working with more than 12,000 smallholder farmers and 20 coffee washing stations across 12 districts of Rwanda.
Next to the cuppings, ‘Rwanda Coffee – A Second Sunrise’ was heavily promoted in the Rwanda Pavilion during the 8th edition of the Embassy Festival in The Hague on September 3rd 2022, during which also Visit Rwanda and Made in Rwanda were featured. About 60,000 visitors were welcomed at the festival and many of them had the chance to enjoy a complimentary cup of Rwandan coffee while enjoying traditional Rwandan dance performances.
The fact that Rwandan specialty coffees meet high international standards provides an excellent opportunity to proactively increase their visibility in the international market and thus earn higher returns.
Rwandan coffee is not a new product to the Dutch market and it has gained popularity for its quality over the years. For instance in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Rwanda exported 209.5 tons of coffee worth USD 556,731 to the Netherlands. In spite of this achievement, there’s still room for greater sales of Rwandan coffees in the Netherlands if its visibility is boosted to not only Dutch coffee lovers but also to the international community located in major big cities. It is expected that sixty Embassies with offices in The Hague will be represented and this could be an opportunity to take the “Rwanda coffee – A Second Sunrise” brand even further.
About NAEB: National Agricultural Export Development Board, abbreviated as “NAEB” is a commercial, public institution established by the law No 13/2017 of 14/04/2017 in the framework of regulating and promoting the development and growth of Agriculture and Livestock export commodities in Rwanda, as well as marketing them worldwide. The head office of NAEB is in Gikondo, KK 530 St, in the City of Kigali, the capital of the Republic of Rwanda.
About ICU: ICU – Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus is implementing the project ‘A market driven approach for value chain improvements and the expansion of the Rwandan coffee market’ in Rwanda in partnership with Kahawatu Foundation. The EUR 2.5 million contract is co-funded by the European Union and monitored by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Rwanda (MINECOFIN) with the support of the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).