After the Lets Talk Coffee 2019 Conference that ended in Kigali on June 19, delegates, farmers, coffee processors as well as coffee lovers visited a farm in Nyaruguru District. The trip was an opportunity for 40 delegates with different nationalities Canada, USA, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Uganda and Brazil, to witness how coffee is grown, harvested, washed, dried and packaged for export. In Nyaruguru, they were welcomed by the women coffee farmers who demonstrated, through songs and plays, how the crop has had far-reaching impact on their livelihood. Delegates being taken through the drying process. The delegates together with staff from Sustainable Growers and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers visited the coffee plantation, inspected coffee cherries, coffee washing station while gaining insight into how Nyampinga cooperative improves the skills of farmers. Esther Makangango, the president of Nyampinga cooperative told delegates that Sustainable Growers has taught them modern methods of coffee farming. “As you can see here, these are new coffee trees that are spaced, planted and mulched in a different way. There is a big difference in the way we used to plant and look after our coffee trees. The new methods will definitely help us double or triple our harvest and the quality of our coffee will improve automatically,” said Mukangango. Delegates take a group photo during the field trip. She acknowledged Bloomberg support to women coffee growers and the good leadership of our country. “We are lucky to have Bloomberg and we appreciate the support they give to us as women who grow coffee. We also thank the government of Rwanda and its good leadership of President Paul Kagame that recognizes and empowers women” added Mukangago The delegates then visited the Nyampinga coffee washing station where the station manager explained the process of coffee processing from the time the cherries are delivered from the fields to when they are dried and packed for export. At the end of the visit, the group tasted coffee from Nyampinga coffee washing station before heading back to Kigali. When women coffee farmers in Nyaruguru District set out to form a cooperative and start a coffee washing station to shore up their incomes, their first challenge was the lack of capital as well as limited skills in coffee farming. However, their fortunes turned around after Sustainable Growers which seeks to strengthen the coffee value chain in the district agreed to work with them. They chose to name their cooperative Nyampinga because it translates to beautiful Women, both inside and out. Over time these under-resourced women have shown increased dedication toward growing quality coffee and connecting with the international market in order to provide better livelihoods for themselves and their families. Since 2013 the women of Nyampinga have received training on coffee best agricultural practices, gender mainstreaming, home roasting (to increase domestic consumption), cupping and quality control from Sustainable Growers. Nyampinga cooperative has been linked to financial institutions to secured loans for working capital and linked to markets. The result of the farmers hard work and enhanced knowledge of coffee production has been a resounding improvement in cup quality. Nyampinga coffees are among finest available in all of Rwanda. Sustainable Growers is expected to improve the quality of coffee and supply chain and boost farmers’ incomes said Ruth Coleman, the Executive Director of Sustainable Growers global headquarters. “I am happy to see the impact of the cooperative on the coffee farmers and how it is strengthening the value chain. Sustainable Growers will continue supporting women farmers in the coffee value chain in Rwanda. You women are lucky to have a chance of being visited by the buyers who love your coffee. We are grateful to our funder Bloomberg Philanthropies and our partner Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers for their longstanding support of this program” she added Since 2014, Sustainable Growers Rwanda has worked in 13 districts and supported 77 cooperatives, 25 coffee washing stations, and 32,233 farming families. Since its inception, Bloomberg Philanthropies has funded this training through the Relationship Coffee Institute, recently renamed Sustainable Growers.