Producer Profile: Gumutindo, Uganda

Written by Cafe Campesino on Aug 6, 2010 in NEWSLETTER, Producer Profile |
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PRODUCER PROFILE – GUMUTINDO (UGANDA)

Located along the border of Uganda and Kenya, on and around Mount Elgon, the Gumutindo cooperative is a farmer-owned business that is comprised of more than 6,000 members. Women make up half of the membership and the region’s arabica coffee beans are farmed at elevations up to 6500 feet above sea level.

Like so many cooperatives, Gumutindo had rather modest beginnings. In 1998, following years of political upheaval and a virtual dismantling of the nation’s coffee industry, a handful of farmers banded together in hopes of reestablishing a commitment to quality coffee as well as operating in a cooperative-based structure. Originally, all business operations were run by one person (the current manager Willington Wamayeye) out of a small rented office space. Since then, they’ve grown exponentially, constructing their own offices, warehouse, and sorting room. They’ve also developed a professional staff team of agronomists, technicians and cuppers.

In the 10+ years that Gumutindo has been serving the Mount Elgon area of Africa, they have helped make vast improvements to the quality of the region’s coffee as well as diligently worked to instill organic values and practices among its members. They’ve also incorporated the voice of women in both organizational and agricultural development. And their fair trade relationships have allowed the membership to build stores, offices, and a medical clinic for their village’s inhabitants.

Cooperative Coffees was introduced to Gumutindo in 2008 by our fair trading friend and ally, Twin Trading Ltd., and we imported our first lots of Ugandan coffee in 2009.

Reminder: Check out the Newsletter Special in this issue for a special price on this excellent coffee from our partners at Gumutindo.

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