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“Choose to challenge” is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day

Monday, March 8, 2021

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. “Choose to challenge” is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8. 

Nestlé Professional is proud to share the story of the women behind the Roastelier by Nescafé Burundi Coffee who are Making More Possible. It is a journey of women’s coffee expertise & determination, starting the coffee journey’s first steps.  

 

Start of the Roastelier Burundi coffee story

 

The Roastelier Burundi coffee story starts with Marie-Annonciate, who mobilized women in the community to come together and gain access to land, backed by the Kahawatu Foundation and Sucafina – a leading sustainable Farm to Roaster, Swiss-based coffee company. They lobbied in government for several years to secure land rights for their members but faced many challenges.

 

Marie-Annonciate then started in 2017 the Women Group Rama in Ngozi to help organize the fight for land rights. A local community member recognized their plight and gave up the rights to their own land, leasing it to the group.

 

The Rama group, which also goes by its full name ‘Rama Dufatanemunda’, meaning rama ‘be at peace’, and dufatanemund ‘we’ll help each other’, continued to fight for land rights while also training with Sucafina in good agricultural practices. They then created a financial unit and when the time came to own and operate their own land, the 131-member group was ready to begin coffee farming.

 

Today, its 337 members now maintain an average of 50-250 trees each, producing 100% high-quality Arabica coffee.

 

Meet the women experts in coffee

 

Coffee farmer Françoise is one of the Rama group members who works with Nestlé to provide top-grade Arabica coffee from her coffee plantation in Burundi.

 

Françoise selects and handpicks coffee cherries, which are run through a pulper and then fermented for 12 hours. The coffee is then washed with clean water and graded down a canal. It is then collected and laid out on drying tables in the sun until it reaches the right humidity levels, to give its fruity and balanced taste.

 

Her coffee is selected on the ground by Nestlé’s Roastelier green coffee expert, Minette, before being prepared for export and assessed for responsible sourcing high standards in Nestlé’s factories. 

 

This year, the sale of Françoise’s coffee harvest has meant she could buy new livestock to help improve her livelihood and family.

 

“The other women in Rama were also able to buy themselves essential products,” she said. “All this because Nestlé bought the fruit of the work of women who came together from different hills. Now we are an example to the members of our communities, and many now have become coffee farmers.”

 

Gertrude, another coffee farmer, and Rama member, added: “I would like to thank Nestlé for buying our coffee. This has enabled us to contribute to our households and help our husbands. We’ll be buying our children’s school materials for the upcoming school year because we were well paid for our coffee.”

 

Connecting the community from farm to cup

 

Consumers can follow their motivating coffee story by going to their local café where Roastelier is served and scan an in-store QR code from their smartphones to link to the Roastelier Burundi Website.

Burundi local community women are experts in coffee and work hard to deliver the “desired farm to cup” experience, offering us the opportunity to enjoy the Roastelier Burundi. These inspiring women worked together to challenge the status quo to enable a better standard and quality of living for themselves and their families. 

We acknowledge the Burundi Women Coffee Experts on International Women’s Day and recognize their valuable contribution for enabling the best coffee experience.