A wonderful way of supporting an independent producer!
In this country, where 95% of the coffee industry is controlled by just 2 major players, we have opted for a different sourcing method. An entrepreneur and self-taught coffee producer, Salum is the only Burundian farmer to own his own farm and washing stations. His high-quality work has confirmed that Belco (our trader for this coffee) made the right choice when changing their sourcing method several years ago. His farm is located in Mbirizi. It is one of the largest in the country with some 7,000 plants. His 4 washing stations are Buzira, Shembati, Sehe and Butaganzwa. They are all located at altitudes of between 1,700 and 2,100 meters and Salum has a working relationship with over 8,700 farmers.
Buzira is one of these washing stations. It is located in the commune of Muruta, in a region that borders the Nyungwe National Park. Located at an altitude of between 1,900 and 2,100 metres, it has about 2,000 coffee trees and involves 30 producer associations, representing some 3,000 farmers. The varieties produced here are mainly Bourbon, Jackson and Mbirizi.
In order to encourage his producers to harvest only very ripe cherries, Salum pays a much higher price for one kilo of cherries than the actual market price, in a country where the standard of living is among the lowest in the world. He has also set up his own transport company to control how his coffees are transported from the washing station to the port.