To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

April 02, 2008

Starbucks to market Rwandan-branded coffee

Starbucks Coffee Company, the world’s largest coffee chain, is to sell a distinctive brand of coffee from Rwanda to the European market for the first time.

The coffee bean, referred to as Rwanda Blue Bourbon, will be introduced to the European and Asian markets early next month as the demand for the beans is now on the rise, the Seattle based company has announced.

Bourbon coffee, which is already being promoted in the United States, is unique because its unique herbal ingredient impart a subtle acidity that creates a cocoa spice taste.

Though this type of coffee is bluish in colour, Rwanda’s coffee is mainly sold in its green form and only sometimes roasted and ground to add value.

Scott McMartin, Starbucks’ green coffee sustainability director, said recently that the company views Rwanda as an upcoming, high-quality Bourbon coffee producer and will invest more than $4 million to help East African coffee farmers improve their communities through funding projects.

Mr McMartin said Starbucks is considering working with Rwandan farmers through their co-operative unions to promote productivity of the Blue Bourbon coffee.

He added that the company would inject an additional $1 million into the programme for farmers to provide access to low-interest loans through the non-profit lender Root Capital.

Starbucks is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of speciality coffee in the world, with more than 6,000 retail outlets in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

The company is one of America’s top 100 employers, being ranked seventh by Fortune magazine. It recorded $7.8 billion in revenue in 2007.

Mr McMartin said the company aims to open farmer support centres in Rwanda and Ethiopia by the end of this year. He added that the small Rwandan farms who produce Bourbon coffee are part of the joint venture and that Starbucks will buy all their coffee.

The Abahuzamugambi Co-operative, a group of Rwandan subsistence farmers in Maraba that developed Bourbon with the technical help of international aid agencies USAid ACDI/VOCA and PEARL could be one of the co-operatives to benefit from Starbuck’s programme.

The coffee is produced from the Bourbon cultivar of the arabica plant.

The East African

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP