The KAGERA Cooperative is located in the temperate tropical highlands of Tanzania. Nearly 14 000 certified organic smallholders are cultivating coffee in the traditional way (mixed cultivation with bananas, beans and other fruits) each on about 0.6 ha land. RAPUNZEL uses the beans for its Gusto Café Espresso and Gusto Café Viva.
Organic coffee from Tanzania since 1999
RAPUNZEL receives organic coffee from the farmers of the Kagera Cooperative Union since 1999. The subsidiary cooperatives of KCU with their sonorous names like Ibwera and Kachwezi are also certified organic since 2001. The farmers possess on average only about 1000 square meters of land, of which they cultivate 600 square meters.
Since the mid-nineteenth century coffee has been cultivated in traditional mixed cultivation, which means that coffee is grown together with other plants, such as bananas, beans and other fruits. By doing so, the individual farmers produce on average approximately 150 kg of dried coffee cherries per year.
Focusing on quality
Organic cultivation offers a possibility for Tanzanian farmers to resist the price pressure on the world market and to focus on quality instead. Long-term trade relations help securing the small farmers´ income level.
Of special importance is also early payment: farmers receive 60 % of their payment when delivering their coffee. At the end of the season they get an additional payment, based on the annual accounts of the cooperative.