Gasange Washing Station was started as a cooperative in 2010 by a group of coffee farmers in the Gatsibo District of the Eastern Province. Technoserve took the initiative to help these farmers form a cooperative and assisted them in acquiring the required documents of authority which allowed them to build this station. Rwanda Trading Company supported Gasange in providing them with money to help complete their station as well as providing operating capital for 2010 and 2011. The coffee they provide is grown at altitudes ranging from 1700-1800meters. In 2010, Gasange provided RTC with 8,000Kg of parchment and has improved in 2011 by providing 15,000Kg of parchment. Members of this cooperative have increased from 204 to 231 since beginning in 2010.
Transparency is an important driver of efficiency and good governance at cooperatively-owned coffee wet mills and can lead to higher farm-gate prices. Coffeetransparency.com collates the most important production and financial information from participating wet mill businesses - from export revenues to incomes -and organizes this information into a two-page transparency sheet. The left-hand numbers are key indicators of production efficiency and farmer income for the most recently completed coffee season.
Adopting business practices that treat workers and suppliers ethically and fairly, protect the environment, and promote economic transparency will build the foundation for a sustainable business. Participating wet mills and supplying farmers are trained and audited on a set of sustainability standards that focus on 5 categories – social responsibility & ethics, occupational health & safety, environmental responsibility, economic transparency and production & farm management. The numbers on the left track compliance against best practices in each category from the most recently completed sustainability audit.