Kinini Village - 2021

Kinini Village - 2021

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    An elegantly structured coffee from beginning to end, this selection from the 2021 harvest at Kinini Village offers sweet pastry and baking spice aromatics, brown sugar sweetness, and refreshing flavors of strawberry, plum, and orange.

    This beautiful Rwandan coffee, purchased from farmers who live in close proximity to Kinini Village in Rulindo District, Northern Province, is the result of an innovative collaborative project, founded by Jacquie Turner and Malcolm Clear, that strives to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through a community-driven, self-sustaining model of specialty coffee production.

    This coffee was produced by Kinini Coffee, an inspiring collaborative enterprise in Rwanda’s Northern Province, founded by Jacquie Turner and Malcolm Clear. In the kinyarwanda language, the word “Kinini” literally translates to “big” or “this big thing” - and this seems a very apt description, given what this innovative project has achieved in a very short time.

    Before turning to coffee, Jacquie Turner and Malcolm Clear had worked together for over a decade building schools for children of the genocide, and lobbying the local government and international donor networks to secure political and financial support for the construction of pharmacies, micro-finance credit institutions, and other services for rural communities in Eastern Rwanda. In addition to relentless creativity and determination to help their fellow Rwandans, the founders of Kinini Coffee had the benefit of a wealth of relevant experience: Malcolm is a retired businessman, builder, and developer, and Jacquie worked for the Rwandan government for a number of years and is also a committed member of the International Women’s Coffee Association (IWCA).

    In the interest of creating a business enterprise with potential for generational impact, Jacquie and Malcolm built the Kinini Coffee project in a very interesting way. After years of persistent lobbying - of the local government, of the Development Bank of Rwanda, of a community of farmers in a region to the north of Kigali where little coffee was being produced - they received approval to sign “leases” on parcels of land owned by smallholder farmers near Kinini Village. Most of the parcels that were leased in this way were not under cultivation, and under the terms of each lease, Kinini Coffee agreed to supply free coffee trees, agronomic training, and logistical support. In exchange, the farmers who chose to sign leases agreed to deliver the eventual fruit from the coffee trees planted on their land to the Kinini Washing station, for which they would be paid.

    Progress has been rapid since the Kinini Coffee project was officially launched in 2014. After widespread distribution of coffee seedlings to participating members, 85% of whom are women, the Kinini team organized farmer trainings, and built the Kinini washing station near the village. Since the project’s first significant coffee harvest in 2017, Kinini Village has swiftly built a reputation for being not only a highly innovative community project, but also, increasingly and consistently a source of some of the finest coffees produced in Rwanda in recent years.

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