Cup of Excellence returns to Burundi

The winning lots from the 2017 Burundi Cup of Excellence were auctioned on 18 October, achieving an average price of US$9.19 per pound. All 23 winning lots sold well above the starting price of $5.50 per pound with the first-place coffee awarded to Kibingo washing station in Kayanza, selling for $52.30 per pound to buyers; Maruyama Coffee Company (Japan), Sarutahiko Coffee (Japan), Difference Coffee (UK), Good Boy Coffee (USA) and Nippon Coffee Trading Company (Japan). Kibingo, operated by Greenco, has 3500 farmers who contribute their coffees. Almost 250 growers contributed their coffee for this winning lot and the earnings will be equally distributed to all growers by Kibingo (Greenco) washing station. David Nshimirimana, the owner of the 10th winning station, Munyinya, said of his farm located in Kayanza, “My first coffee farm started with 400 trees. I invested much and today I have 12,000 trees of coffee with my six farms.” Burundi is unique within the Cup of Excellence structure, with washing stations positioned centrally within regions of Burundi who then receive cherry from multiple farmers who are either cooperative members or sell their cherry to private stations who pay for receipt of cherry. With many of these Coffee Washing Stations (CWS), multiple farmers make up each winning lot. Other communes and regions (sub-districts within regions) included: Gatara, Mwumba of Ngozi region, Nyamurenza, Buyengero of Rumenge region, Buraza of Gitega region, Kabarore and Kiremba. The international jury was represented by 15 countries: France, Spain, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Costa Rica, United States and Burundi. Lots in this auction have been cupped at least five times by the national and international jury, representing nearly 9000 cups of evaluated coffee samples. The lowest score for Burundi was 86.86, with the winning lot achieving a score of 90.45. “The return to Burundi after an absence in 2016 is especially rewarding for the program. Our partnership with both Intercafé and Arfique goes back to 2012. We are also grateful that the World Bank’s institutional assistance and partnership has given us additional footing to operate in Burundi,” said Darrin Daniel, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence.

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