What if I told you that you could actually make a difference in the lives of women, their children and communities in the world, just by buying coffee? And what if I shared with you that the little cup of liquid gold which you reach for every morning (or multiple times through the day) means so much more to some people than simply a quick caffeine hit…sounds intriguing right?
That’s exactly what I thought when I heard about the work being done by a speciality coffee brand named St Remio. They have a pretty important story which affects countless people and it’s one I’d like to share with you today. So if you have 5 minutes to spare, please, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and let’s learn more about this incredible company and how they are empowering women & communities.
If you had asked me a few weeks ago whereabouts coffee was grown in the world, I would’ve said Brazil and Columbia. Basically, South America. However for the uninformed like myself, coffee is actually grown all over the world, even in Africa. And it’s in the African country of Rwanda, where St Remio are planting deep roots in giving back to the local community.
In the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where it’s estimated that between 500,000 to 1 million locals were murdered, a gaping hole was left in the country’s heart and their coffee plantations. There were even more people, particularly men, who were killed after the genocide as well. Apart from the heartbreak & devastation this caused not only to individuals but to an entire nation, this had other effects, particularly upon local industries like the coffee trade. Women were left to work on the coffee plantations and did not have the training, tools or financial means to produce a fine level of quality coffee and on-sell their products for a fair price.
Enter St Remio who provided the funds to build a cupping lab in Twongere Umusaro (TUK), in the last financial year. In case you weren’t aware, a cupping lab facility assists the women who work the coffee plantations to learn about how the coffee beans they produce are then consumed by others. They also get the opportunity to conduct taste testing on their coffee beans and learn how to increase the quality of their crops. Knowledge truly is power! And the power that these women are finally gaining then enables them to learn more about how they can trade their products for the fair & equitable price to the international coffee trade market.
Rwanda wasn’t always known for it’s high-grade-high quality coffee however that is changing thanks to the increase in education and support provided to the mainly female coffee growers, by companies such as St Remio. In addition to funding the construction of the cupping lab, St Remio have even purchased 4 hectares of land for the female lead Co-Op of Cocagi in Rwanda. An additional 12,000 coffee plants and seedlings have also been provided to the Co-Op which provides further assistance whilst the plantation develops!
So from the coffee plantations to you, the consumer…how do you drink your coffee? Do you prefer coffee beans or do you use a Nespresso style machine at home or even at work? No matter which method you use, St Remio has you covered. With their coffee available in different forms, there’s coffee beans as well as compatible capsules for your Nespresso, Caffitaly, Lavazza A Modo Mio or Expressi (Aldi) machines. So the next time you need to purchase your coffee, I’d love it if you would take a moment to consider St Remio as an option.
And the reason for this is that by purchasing their coffee, you’re supporting a company that is actively making a difference in the lives of the people who grow coffee. These women in the Rwandan coffee plantations may be far away from you & I and our thoughts when we make our coffee during the day…but their commitment to look after their families, experience love & laughter and hope for a better life are just like our hopes too.
If experimenting with a new product purely for the support they provide to the community isn’t enough to get you to consider to try St Remio’s delicious coffee, then think about this… a recent review on Australia’s “A Current Affair” program listed St Remio as number 1 out of 5 different coffee pod brands, with a 8/10 overall rating. St Remio won out against coffee heavyweights such as Lavazza and Nescafe to take the top spot! As for me personally, the Columbian blend is a stand-out, particularly as I adore anything with hints of chocolate!
There’s a big push globally for becoming more sustainable, recognising the rights of women and realising we need to come together if we want the world to change for the better. Sometimes, all it takes to make a small difference in the world is to be a little more thoughtful about which brands we choose to support. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to St Remio for the wonderful work they are doing as well as for their amazing coffee. And also thanks to you, for taking the time to read this article! If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it in the comments below!