Specialty Coffee Rwanda

Overall aim / ambition

Developing a high value, sustainable specialty coffee export sector in Rwanda that can do independently business in EU markets. Small and medium sized exporters are connected to the European market with an additional export value of € 3 mln of specialty coffee at the end of the project. The sector has moved forward on CSR subjects climate adaptation and mitigation, youth employment in coffee, gender equality, and decent jobs.

Focal points of the CBI programme

Essence of the project CBI’s focus is on two core elements:

  • Business Export Coaching (BEC): - Group workshops on identified subjects - Individual company coaching by the CBI Coffee Expert, based on the export assessment outcome of September 2019
  • Capacity development in the Export Enabling Environment with the NAEB and Sustainable Growers.

Apart from the core elements, we identified additional subjects that are relevant for the participants to get EU ready or to make a decent living in the coffee sector.

  • Multi-crop farm management;
  • Organic composting;
  • Youth employment;
  • CSR and coaching on certification:
  • Blockchain;
  • Gender equality improvement in the coffee sector.

What is unique

  1. This project also supports producers / farmers on the subject of multi-crop farm management: since most coffee farmers also produce other crops than coffee while most donors only focus on coffee, CBI has decided to organize workshops on how to make a decent living out of multi crop farming.
  2. This project also includes activities to attract more youth to develop business in the coffee sector.
  3. We team up with Progreso on the subject of blockchain, in which producers and buyers can find each other and transfer coffee in a traceable and transparent way.

Project participants and products

A total of 11 small and medium-sized enterprises as well as 2 Unions are taking part in this business export coaching programme. It includes support to and collaboration with 3 Business Support Organisations.



ENAS (ETS Nkubili Alfred)




Kivubelt Coffee (Teuscher Invest)


MICOF (Mibirizi)


Motherland Farmers


Muhondo Coffee


Nova Coffee


Nyamurinda Coffee Growers


Sake Farm


Tropic Coffee


Unguka Muhinzi


Misozi (Union)


Rwashoscco (Union)


You can contact CBI to find out more or to get in touch with these exporters by mailing to ingredients@cbi.eu.

Collaboration with other organisations, our partners:

  • Sustainable Growers, we use the infrastructure of the group of female trainers in the country, set up by Sustainable Growers, for training on multi-crop farm management and on organic composting. We also coach Sustainable Growers to realise their new strategic plan.
  • NAEB, National Agricultural Export Development Board, the government Business Support Organisation, is supported by CBI on the development of new export services.  


Come and visit us at the Rwanda Coffee pavilion in hall 3, MS-C10 at the international coffee trade fair World of Coffee 2022, in Milan from 23-25 June 2022 (see Connecting Central America and Rwanda Specialty Coffee at World of Coffee 2022 | CBI).

Results / Strategy

The sector focus will be on removing the following main export obstacles and risks to improve conditions so that more EU export value can be created:

  • Lack of EU market information on potential market segments and requirements @ SME exporters and coops
  • Lack of quality awareness among producers and exporters
  • Insufficient constant quality of specialty coffee
  • Climate change that causes volatility of coffee quantity and quality
  • Low awareness of Rwanda specialties @ buyers in EU destination markets
  • Aging of labour force in sector
  • Lack of full product traceability
  • Gender inequality that currently creates a sub-optimal use of the product quality potential and market potential
  • Child and temporary labour

This will be done through the following interventions:

  • To train exporters on market segments, developments, requirements
  • To train coops and exporters on quality and cupping to recognize specialty coffee
  • To develop and implement climate change impact mitigation and adaptation actions on sector and exporter levels
  • Branding and promotion of the sector and of individual exporters in the EU
  • To coach youth start-ups in the coffee sector to make the sector more attractive for youth
  • To coach actors in the VC on a business model including proposition in blockchain
  • To create and implement gender equality improvement action plans on exporter and BSO level and to identify and tackle the main obstacles for women
  • To coach and prepare for 3rd party audits that include child and temporary labour

Lessons learned

For Market information, please visit our website: www.cbi.eu/market-information/coffee/

Get involved as an importer

Are you a European importer interested in Specialty Coffee from companies in Rwanda? You can contact CBI to get more information or to meet with these suppliers who are being trained to export to Europe by mailing to ingredients@cbi.eu.

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