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The Gasharu Coffee Company was started by Celestin Rumenerangabo in the 1970s. Spending nearly all of his savings, he initially purchased 380 coffee trees and then expanded the business by purchasing cherry from local farmers as well. The business grew significantly from 1978 to 1994, but the Tutsi genocide drove Celestin and his family to flee the country. In 1998 they were finally able to return and begin re-establishing the business from almost nothing. While the coffee farms were intact, they lost the majority of their partners and had little money to start again. It was a difficult time, but they now operate a thriving business with over 8,500 trees and two washing stations, Muhororo and Gasharu, and are leaders of social and economic change within their community.
Umuko Coffee, the exporter who works directly with Gasharu and other farms, is focused on paying farmers a living wage and putting the dignity and well being of farmers first. Additionally, they support local healthcare and social community programs to contribute stronger, more resilient families and neighborhoods.
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