|Founded in 1998|
Comprised of 7,000 members
|Mount Elgon Region|
|Organic; FLO||1000 – 1900 meters above sea level|
|Arabica – Catimor varietals||Medium acidity, full body, cedar and dark chocolate flavors|
Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative - Mbale, Uganda
About the Producer
Founded in 1998, the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative united small-scale farmers throughout eastern Uganda with a mission to recover fine coffee production in Uganda. Due to a series of failed reform efforts through the late 1980s and early 1990s, traders had come to associate Ugandan coffee with low grade quality and massive export volumes. Gumutindo was founded in part to repair this slippage of reputation. By uniting farmers in a mission to produce small-holder, high-quality coffees in an environmentally responsible fashion, the cooperative has defined its place in the specialty coffee market. Today, Gumutindo's membership includes ten community-based organizations, representing some 7,000 members located throughout Ugandas Mount Elgon region.
To help secure its gains in restoring Uganda’s image as a producer of fine, specialty coffees, Gumutindo has invested in quality control and processing facilities and equipment, as well as the employment of professional staff, such as agronomists, technical staff, operators, and cuppers. In combination with the introduction of educational programs to teach organic growing techniques and organizational skills to producers, these improvements have allowed Gumutindo to establish a consistently high-quality product.
As the cooperative continues to navigate a growing international market for specialty coffees, Gumutindo has had the opportunity to invest it Fair Trade premiums into a number of projects to benefit farming communities, particularly through revitalization of public spaces including construction of shops, offices, and medical clinics. The group has also placed emphasis on equity for female growers, implementing premium programs for women growers and initiatives to balance the representation of women among Gumutindo cooperative leadership.
Gumutindo growers are located in the highlands surrounding the extinct volcano Mount Elgon, a region that lies along Ugandas eastern border with Kenya. Coffee production ranges over the mountainous terrain, with farms generally located between 1,000 and 1,900 meters above sea level. Gumutindo farmers cultivate Catimor varietals of Arabica, producing a coffee distinguished by its medium acidity, full body, and notes of woody cedar and dark chocolate.
Most individual Gumutindo growers have maintained Organic certification since 2002, while the organization collectively earned its Fair Trade certification in 2004.