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From Mount Elgon, Uganda
Location – Mount Elgon Region
Elevation – 1000-1900 meters
Coffee varietal – Catimor
Founded – 1998
Members – 7000 members in ten primary societies
After losing its foothold in the international market in the early 1990s, it became very difficult for Ugandan coffee farmers to find sales outlets for their high quality beans. The dismantling of the country’s coffee industry had created a hostile environment for foreign importers – and Uganda became known as a high volume, lower grade source. But in 1998, a handful of farmers joined a collective effort to re-establish Uganda’s commitment to quality coffee and cooperative structures. By 1999, some 200 farmers had gathered around the leadership of their founding General Manager Willington Wamayeye, and with the support of U.K.-based TWIN Trading, they were able to consolidate a functioning organization.
Since then, Gumutindo has expanded significantly in membership and capacity. They now boast a professional staff, team of agronomists, technicians and cuppers, as well as having constructed their own offices, warehouse, and sorting room.
Gumutindo has become an important motor for development in the Mount Elgon region, having revitalized its primary societies, increased the quality of coffee exports, instilled organic values and practices among its farmer members, and incorporated the voice of women in both its organizational and agricultural development. Appealing to the demands of specialty coffee markets, the coop analyzes and sorts all of its collected coffee according to quality, allowing importers to discern and select which coffees would best suit their market. Fair Trade has allowed the primary societies to build stores, offices, and a medical clinic for the village’s inhabitants.
Thread is pleased to offer this month’s featured coffee from Uganda whose rich aromas of oaked bourbon and browned butter give way to a clean tasting coffee with hints of dried cherries, toffee and pecans.
Information on Gumutindo provided by our importing cooperative, Cooperative Coffees.