Burundi is a small country at the crossroads of East and Central Africa, situated between Rwanda, DR Congo and Tanzania. Its plantations are often located at altitudes of between 1,800 and 2,100 meters and the country produces mostly fully-washed Red Bourbon.
Introduced initially by the Belgians in the 1920s, Burundian coffee production has since grown rapidly and now employs 55% of the working population. It is therefore essential that the industry remains healthy in order to drive up living standards in Burundi, which are among the lowest in the world. However, 95% of the sector is divided between just 2 major players. Which is why Belco decided to choose a different sourcing method by working with the country’s only independent producer: Salum. An entrepreneur, coffee enthusiast, and manager of a well-oiled transport company, he owns his own farm and 4 washing stations.
Shembati is one of these washing stations. It is located at an altitude of between 1,700 and 1,800 metres in the commune of Butaganzwa, 50 km from the city of Kayanza. The coffees processed there come from micro plantations managed by 1,500 farmers in the surrounding area.
Hazelnut | Citrus fruit | Caramel | Supports the only independent Burundian 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 we made the right choice when changing our sourcing method several years ago.
His farm is located in Mbirizi. It is one of the largest in the country with some 7,000 trees.
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.
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.