Rwanda's miracle coffee beans

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Visit Christian Science Monitor for a thoughtful profile of a Rwandan coffee cooperative that bridges the Hutu-Tutsi divide. Cooperatives like it are helping absorb the tens of thousands of prisoners being freed after serving time for acts of genocide, while contributing to Rwanda's 7% annual growth in GDP.

Partnership to Enhance Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL), which helped get the cooperative off the ground, claims that 85% of the coffee profits go to farmers. If you're in the UK, you can buy coffee from this particular cooperative online or look for Maraba Bourbon Coffee at Sainsbury's.

I love this story, because the Rwandans are competing on product quality and taking advantage of online media for brand awareness. PEARL is also quite clever at marketing, as you can see from Maraba Coffee's extensive Wikipedia entry. Score one point for fair trade.

The CSM piece is part of a series (with slideshows) on Paths to Forgiveness in African countries recovering from war. See a previous post for another Rwandan coffee article.

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