Rwanda Ejo Heza

$20.00

red plum, orange blossom, custard

Clear

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This bright, fruity, classically Rwandan coffee comes to us from a special subset of the Kopakama Cooperative in Rwanda: Ejo Heza, which means “Bright Tomorrow”. The 400-member all-woman sub-cooperative, based in Rwanda’s Western Province, formed in 2011 with full support of the greater Kopakama co-op.

The Ejo Heza women manage a communal plot of coffee trees on a little over one hectare of land, as well as on their own family plots. Through the agronomy support of Kopakama, the farmers are constantly experimenting with and improving upon the quality and sustainability of their coffee farms, including planting beneficial shade trees.

In 2016, with the premiums earned from the sales of this coffee, Ejo Heza was able to found a microcredit savings and lending group to help member farmers continue to thrive.

$1 of your purchase supports the Women in Coffee Project, an initiative formed by a group of Joe Coffee employees seeking to highlight and elevate the conversation about the achievements of women in the coffee world.

  • Type

    Single Origin
  • Origin

    Mushubati, Rutsiro District, Rwanda
  • Producer

    Ejo Heza, Kopakama Cooperative
  • Type

    Bourbon
  • Elevation

    1,600–2,000 MASL
  • Process

    Washed

A Note from Our Relationship Manager

From Amaris Gutierrez-Ray, Director of Roasting

This is the second year we bring you a very special micro-lot from the all-women group Ejo Heza. Their name, which means “Bright Tomorrow” in Kinyarwanda, is more than a descriptive phrase: it’s a very real worldview and a call-to-action. The women of Ejo Heza have come together in many remarkable ways. Their collective efforts to truly benefit each other and their community within a larger cooperative and the unique history of the country have allowed the topic of gender equity to become more widespread within the sector.

We became aware of this inspirational group of women through Ruth Ann Church, founder of Artisan Coffee Imports. Ruth Ann’s connection to Rwanda began through an economic research project that led her to believe the coffee sector in Rwanda had the power to radically transform the local economy.

Women of Ejo Heza clear brush on a hillside

The team which Ruth Ann was part of compiled interviews and comprehensive data into published research which helped the government decide to raise the national floor price for coffee cherry for smallholder farmers the following year. In Rwanda, the national floor price is open to fluctuations every year, so the victory was short-lived on a national scale. But the experience gave Artisan Coffee Imports the foundation to commit to sustainable prices so coffee farmers can reach their potential as catalysts for economic, environmental, and social development.

For us at Joe, when it comes to these complex and far-reaching issues, we feel the responsibility to both educate and be educated ourselves. It’s important for us to rely on strong logistics partners to give us context for their work and insight into what sustainability looks like for all parties in a supply stream. In order for all of us to be strong and thrive, we rely on open communication so we can collectively learn how to be the best business partners we can be. The result keeps us accountable to each other and our shared future. Because of their commitment to transparency and active partnership, we choose to partner with Artisan Coffee Imports for many years to come.

Learn more. Download our Rwanda Ejo Heza 2020 Infosheet [PDF] >>

Ejo Heza Coop members gathered