Abakundakawa Rushashi became This Side Up’s first partner in 2013. With a water- and energy saving triple fermentation method, advanced pulp recycling methods and two women empowerment organisations, Rushashi coffee washing station (CWS) is truly progressive. We created the country’s first cascara with them in 2015 and since 2016, increased traceability by offering “village lots” from only several of the washing station’s twelve collection points. In 2017-2018, they rocked the European coffee scene with a killer natural experiment that we plan to keep in our assortment in coming years.
Rushashi serves as a prime example of how Rwandan cooperative societies can become sustainable by constantly improving quality and operatig sustainably. With the help of MISOZI, a local private but social exporting business, they are able to sell their unforgettably complex coffees worldwide – it’s no surprise that they frequently earn a place in the Rwanda Cup Of Excellence competition (highest: 3d place!). For three years, This Side Up’s premium has been invested in Rushashi’s financial independence from rural banks by the cooperative’s members, while from 2017 onwards, they have been investing in a nursery for shade trees and other plants that organically strengthen the coffee.