Kombe la Dhahabu means ‘golden cup’ in Swahili.
The contest organized by Fairtrade Africa, is taking place in different African countries with a view to promote and market the continent’s coffee nationally and internationally.
Fairtrade Africa (FTA) is the umbrella network organisation representing Fairtrade certified producers and workers in Africa. It has four regional networks – Eastern and Central Africa; Southern Africa; Western Africa; and the Middle East and North Africa.
The contest is scheduled to take place in countries including Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda.
The contest held in Kigali on 17th September 2021 brought together 28 coffee producers where ‘Abateraninkunga ba Sholi’ won the two first positions out of the top ten awarded producers.
The winners were crowned ‘Specialty Coffee Ambassadors’ and will be sponsored to attend big specialty coffee events to gain marketing and business skills, and create market connections.
In addition to that, their coffee samples are distributed in Europe and North America among other consumer locations.
Getahun Gebrekidan Getahun Gebrekidan, the regional programs manager in charge of coffee and tea at Fairtrade Africa said that the contest was organized to boost the capacity of coffee producers to compete internationally.
“This contest came to boost quality standards among coffee producers because we intend to select the best coffee in Africa. It means that everyone will earmark much effort to produce coffee of high quality. Besides, they will participate in renowned coffee competitions helping them to market their produce globally,” he said.
Winners expressed delight with the recognition highlighting that it encourages them to maintain hard work.
Aimable Nshimiye, an accountant at Abaterankunga ba Sholi attributed the performance to a stern process involved in coffee production.
“We work closely with farmers and train them on best techniques to handle the produce from plantations. We delegated agronomists to monitor coffee farming activities to ensure the supply of desired quality coffee. Our plant also has drying facilities helping us to maintain standards,” he said.
Nshimiye explained that winning the contest will open new horizons for Rwanda’s coffee at the global market.
Winners will also compete with selected best producers from other countries where the contest is taking place and participate in different international exhibitions like CAFÉ SHOW Korea, AFCA, SCA, WOC and SCAJ.
Rwanda has 355 771 coffee farmers of whom 68% are women.
Kombe la Dhahabu contest also encourages value addition and fair income distribution by producing and commercializing quality coffees, the producers guarantee sustainable production processes.