The Ibisi Mountain washing station sits within the hills of Southern Rwanda, located a short drive from the Nyungwe Forest, a national park known for its incredible biodiversity of endemic species. Here, local farmer Bernard Uwitije focused primarily on producing commodity coffee until 2015, when he realized the potential for processing fully-washed specialty coffees in partnership with Rwanda Trading Company. Rwanda Trading Company was established in 2009 as a vehicle for positive social impact. This group has displayed a consistent commitment to securing economic freedom and security for smallholder farmers by building resilient, transparent supply chains. RTC processes and exports 25 percent of Rwanda’s annual coffee production.
The group owns and operates sixteen wet mills and works directly with farmers throughout Rwanda – buying, milling, processing and marketing their coffees – while investing in producing communities through agribusiness training programs. Since 2013, these programs, which focus on cultivation innovation and reducing costs of production, have resulted in an 86 percent increase in farm revenue for RTC’s producer-partners. It’s a highly collaborative effort, which fuels sustainable economic stability from the ground up. Through his partnership with Rwanda Trading Company, Bernard Uwitije built his first washing station, Gitega Hills, and later expanded his reach with the washing station at Ibisi Mountain. Ibisi Mountain was awarded one of the top 40 spots in the Rwanda Cup of Excellence, which is just one of the many reasons our team at Balzac Brothers is proud to offer this coffee offering.