US buyers eye Rwanda's specialty coffee

Rwanda’s coffee exports to the US could increase after more investors pledged to buy the country’s specialty coffee, Dr Ndambe Nzaramba, the National Agricultural and Exports Board (NAEB) deputy director general for exports and market operations, has said. 

Nzaramba was speaking on the sidelines of the 27th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) exhibition in Seattle, Washington DC over the weekend.

He said over 1,000 coffee traders visited the Rwandan booth, noting that some of them promised to buy the country’s specialty coffee.

According Nzaramba, 12 local specialty coffee exporters participated in the Alliance for Coffee Excellence open house, and in the Taste of Harvest event organised by Sustainable Harvest, which were part of the activities of the exhibition. He said local coffees were featured during the Sustainable Harvest cupping session, which was aimed at promoting coffee produced by associations of rural Rwandan women farmers.

“The exhibition enabled local coffee exporters to network with clients and potential clients.
“It was an opportunity for Rwanda to exhibit its specialty coffees to the American specialty coffee importers, roasters and retailers,” Nzaramba said.

The SCAA exhibition attracted participants from 130 countries and was geared towards sharing experience and knowledge on coffee industry.

Rwanda exported 15,970 tonnes of coffee, worth $59.68 million last year, up from $54.9 million in 2013.