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April Newsletter 

Harvest Begins

Tuesday, the 20th March saw Greenco’s season officially begin with the first cherries being purchased at Nemba, Kibingo and Rugori stations. This day marks the start of an exciting but extremely busy season ahead for everyone at Greenco. It is still very early for coffee harvesting but some of the higher growing cherries have ripened and the farmers braved the less than ideal weather to bring us the ones that did. The abundant rainy season has given us a lot to be excited about as the heavy rains will hopefully bring with them larger and vast numbers of cherries for the months of processing ahead.
UTZ certification, what is it and why do we have it?
 
A specific certification or label allows a consumer to know about farming and production practices used by a coffee producing company. There are quite a few of them and each have their own standards and requirements in order to achieve their specific certification. Buying certified coffee comes with many perks such as being able to sell beans at a higher retail price or supporting people who prioritize sustainable farming. There are a number of certifications like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Bird Friendly. Here at Greenco, we are UTZ certified. Essentially, the focus of UTZ is on sustainable farming practices and transparency in the supply chain as well as a focus on environmental impact and protection with the recent merging of UTZ with Rainforest Alliance. We renew our certification annually with representatives coming out to review our processes and ensure we adhere to their standards of coffee sourcing and production. You can find out more about them at https://utz.org/.
How does Cup of Excellence work?
 
The Cup of Excellence competition is open to all farmers and coffee companies throughout the country – large or small and private or public coffee washing stations are free to enter samples for cupping and judging.
 
The Criteria
A sample must score at least 86 points from a possible 100 at each stage in order to advance to the next round of the competition (of which there are 6). Samples with major defects are eliminated at the start and the samples with minor defects may not even achieve the 86 points required to continue past the first round.
The strict sample preparation protocols ensure that cuppers score only the quality in the cup – the influence of variables such as roast, grind and water quality etc. are minimized.
The Competition
Cup of Excellence consists of 6 rounds of cupping. Rounds 1 to 3 are judged by a national jury from Burundi and filter the entered samples down to a maximum of 40 after which an international jury takes over for rounds 4 to 6.
The National Jury is made up of experienced professional cuppers from Burundi and they cup all coffees entered at pre-selection and all those which then advance to the National Jury week (ending at round 3).
The International Jury members are importers, buyers and other skilled coffee cuppers mostly from consuming countries. There are also 2 national juries who join the International Jury to cup the final 3 rounds of the competition and to identify the coffees which are awarded Cup of Excellence and selected for the online auction.

 If you’d like to find out more or see rankings from around the world, check out their website:  https://allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/cup-of-excellence/
Kibingo Celebrations
Kibingo station had a fantastic March as not only did it begin purchasing and processing cherries but we also held an awards ceremony to honour and celebrate those farmers who were responsible for our winning lots at the 2017 COE event. Traditional drummers, musicians and dancers, speeches from officials and a big turnout of the community made for a fantastic day of celebrations for everyone at Greenco. Farmers were paid their bonuses at what was a truly special occasion for the station and all those who ensure we truly bring out the best in the region’s coffee. You can see more photos of the day on our Facebook page.
Max's Words

As I write these lines, the season has well and truly started in almost all areas of our washing stations and we’ve experienced really heavy rains thus far. We are excitedly awaiting visits throughout the season of those who will be making the long trip all the way to Burundi and you’ll be welcomed at the Greenco house for a cupping of our fresh beans. As always, this season we will strive for quality coffee production so we can ensure and deliver the best possible product in the last quarter of the year
Thank you very much for supporting us once again! In the name of all the farmers, we wish you a great spring kick-off!






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Greenco S.U · 33 Route Ngozi-Gitega · Ngozi · Burundi

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