Newsletter: March 2017

Thank you

This is our first newsletter of the season and we would like to start it off by thanking you, our partners, for your support over the last two years. We are really looking forward to the upcoming season and partnering with you again this year. 

Coffee Harvest Season

March will be a busy month for us. Our team has been working incredibly hard since last year to make some necessary changes, both in the office and at our coffee washing stations, in preparation for the upcoming harvest season. February saw the start of the rainy season in Burundi and it is expected that during March the rainfall will increase. Most of the coffee cherries are still green, but some have started to change colour from green to yellow and in certain areas they have started to turn bright red. The cherries should be ready for picking at the end of March/beginning of April at the latest. So it is just over a month to go until our harvest season officially starts. 
These photos were taken at one of our farmer's plantations close to our Nzove coffee washing station in the Ngozi province. 

New Managing Director

Greenco's new Managing Director, Maxime Acien.
One of the changes that has taken place in the office is the arrival of Greenco's new Managing Director. We are pleased to announce that Maxime Acien will be joining the Greenco team this year and has officially taken over from Luis Garcia as of 1 March 2017. Maxime brings a wealth of experience from his strong background in coffee. He fell in love with both the country and its coffee when he first visited Burundi in 2016. As we welcome Maxime to Greenco, we want to thank Luis for all that he has contributed to Greenco since 2015. We also want to wish him all the best in his future endeavours. 

Primary School Visits

It is part of our mission to support our farmers and their families, which is why we decided to partner with the local primary schools that surround each of our coffee washing stations. Last month we visited one school per washing station, which altogether was 13 school visits in the Ngozi and Kayanza province. We attended prize-giving ceremonies during which we awarded the top performing student in each grade a stationery set. It was an honour to be able to visit the schools that many of our farmers' children attend and to invest in their children's education. 
The prize-winners from Ecofo Nzove, the primary school close to our Nzove coffee washing station in the Ngozi province. 

Upcoming Events

We are excited about the 'Cup of Excellence' competition that will take place in July this year. The Cup of Excellence is organised by the non-profit organisation 'Alliance for Coffee' and is the most prestigious competition for high-quality coffees. In 2015 our coffee did exceedingly well, with our Nemba washing station's lot winning first prize and another 10 of our washing stations making it into the top 30 micro lots in Burundi. Since then, we have sent our coffee to almost every corner of the world, which has really put both Greenco and Burundi's underrated coffee on the map. 

Other Greenco News

This month we celebrated our second birthday! Although turning two may seem like a small milestone, we believe that we have accomplished great things since 2015 that are worth celebrating. 

Managing Director's Words

At the time, setting up a company in Burundi in March 2015 was not considered to be the soundest idea. Looking back, I can now say from experience that it is during the worst periods, under some of the most difficult conditions that the best things are born. Greenco’s first two years has brought hope to the coffee industry in Burundi. We have set the pace for producing some of the finest coffee that this country has to offer. It is my hope that the rest of the industry will follow to finally give Burundi coffee the recognition it deserves at an international level. That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing to partner with us. Your loyalty and support has greatly contributed to our growth and success as a company. 

As I hand over to Maxime, I encourage him to persevere not only during the highs but also during the lows, as there will always be some. I am proud to say that he inherits a well-trained and highly capable team along with an excellent operational set-up that has been put in place over the last two years. 

Although I am starting a new chapter in my life, I take the memories of this company's incredible journey with me. I look forward to watching Greenco grow and flourish in the future. 

Luis Garcia
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