Since Westrock began in 2009, we have worked to create positive social impact in the origins that we work with directly. All over the globe, we have unique partnerships with farmers. In countries like Rwanda, we have remained committed to our partnerships with smallholder farmers to secure economic freedoms and build strong, transparent supply chains.
Because of our commitment to these farmers and your commitment to purchasing Westrock Coffee, in less than ten years, we have built an 87,000-person supply chain from Rwanda to you.
In 2013, we embarked on a long-term agronomy project in the Bugasera District of Rwanda. The aim was to improve the quality, yield, and farmer income from coffee crops. Our focus was on quality and investment in production as well as offering financial literacy, agribusiness management, and agronomy training programs to increase yield and keep farms operational and profitable. This program was deemed the Agribusiness Training Program.
As of 2017, because of the Agribusiness Training Program’s application across Rwanda, coffee production per farm has risen 149%, coffee revenue per farm has increased 86%, and deliveries of premium specialty coffee from the overall area has grown 70% - and these quantities are steadily on the rise! Farmers are using their new increase in income to create savings and loan groups, purchase health insurance for themselves and their families, improve their households, expand their farms, and send their children to school.
Today, over 32,000 farmers have completed the Agribusiness Training Program, which is an impressive 2.5 years of coursework and hands-on experience. Once they have completed this program, farmers are fully-equipped to not only increase their qualities and yields but also manage their finances and invest in their families and communities.
In the future, Westrock plans to offer additional workshops and training to ATP graduates to further their knowledge in specific areas of focus and to continue their growth as successful coffee farmers.
Be on the lookout for future blogs highlighting our latest ATP updates and achievements!