Founded in 2000, Dukundekawa Musasa Cooperative cultivates its high-quality coffee near a mountain gorilla habitat, in Rwanda's rugged North-West. In 2003, it built a washing station with funds provided by the Rwandan ministry of defense. In exchange for this support, the Dukundekawa donates 10 percent of its net profits annually to fund the construction of other waashing stations throughout Rwanda.
Fairtrade since 2004, Dukundekawa secures a high standard of living for Rwandan farmers by ensuring access to an economically and environmentally sustainable coffee industry. Before the proliferation of washing stations such as those owened by the co-op, the norm in Rwanda was for smallholder farmers to sell semi-processed cherries to middle-men, bringing low prices and severe hardship to farmers. Today it's a different story: farmers who work with the co-op have seen their income at least double.
Eighty percent of Dukundekawa's producers are women. Each member has been able to buy a farm animal, and many now have health insurance for the first time. Dukundekawa also constructed 2 schools for local children in 2006 and provides members with long-term credit at no interest. Many farmers have renovated their homes and now all members' homes have tile rather than grass roofs.