Here at The Captain's Coffee we believe coffee should not only be good, it should do good too! This article is the 2nd in our series of shining a spotlight on farmers, coops, producers and exporters who are doing good things for coffee, the environment and their communities. Today we're talking about JNP Coffee; an exporter in Burundi who works directly with small holder farms in order to improve the lives of farmers and their families as well as create a focus on incredible coffee. If you'd like to support their amazing work, we've got two coffees from them right now: Burundi Ngozi Bavyeyi Natural (Green/Roasted) and Burundi Ngozi Turihamwe (Green/Roasted) or you can pick up both Green as a discounted Bundle!
Image Courtesy Royal Coffee
So when I began this write up, I spent quite a bit of time reading through JNP Coffee's website as well as our importer's website, Royal Coffee. After an hour or two of reading, I realized two things: 1. I was seriously impressed with JNP Coffee. 2. Charlie Habegger at Royal did an amazing job writing about JNP and I would be spending more of my article quoting Charlie than I would actually writing anything new. After spending a few moments digesting a large slice of humble pie, I decided we'd all be better served letting his work speak for itself. So, credit where credit is due, below is his write up in it's entirety.
Source by Charlie Habegger
"Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, the founder of JNP Coffee, is without a doubt one of the most influential individuals in Burundi coffee today.
Raised in the capital city of Bujumbura, Jeanine would go on to earn an MBA from Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School, cycle through corporate America, and eventually reconnect with her birth country by founding Burundi Friends International, a not-for-profit funding educational and economic empowerment programs for rural Burundians, which is now in its 13th year. After a few years marketing Burundi coffees stateside for friends and family, Jeanine realized she had every reason to lead the business, and JNP Coffee was born.
Coffee grown in Ngozi Province has a special meaning for Jeanine, as that is where her mother grew up. Memories of her mother, leading the family’s coffee harvest to cover school fees, are woven into the name for this coffee. Bavyeyi in Kirundi translates to “parents,’’ a name given to honor the generations of hardworking parents, like Jeanine’s, whose labor in coffee (something many farming families either do not consume or cannot afford to consume) provides shelter, nourishment, and educational opportunities to their children. The producer group is women-owned and works closely with JNP Coffee’s trained Q Graders in Burundi on best quality practices and lot curation. Indeed, this coffee itself is comprised of five unique processing lots from different days throughout harvest.
JNP Coffee is highly focused on women’s empowerment, and along with a few local women’s rights advocates, supported the Burundi chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. The network of IWCA farmer members in Burundi whose coffee is differentiated by membership, marketed for its traceability and impact, and which generates end-of-year premiums for all involved is now more than 2,000 strong. JNP Coffee has created additional programs to expand their farmer base and generate Dushime™ premiums. It seems they can’t expand fast enough. In Kayanza and Ngozi, the heart of the nation’s coffee production regions, competition for cherry can be fierce, so washing stations may pay well above the country’s minimum price to court premium harvests. JNP Coffee goes a step further, returning second payments to farmers and investing in opportunities for education and community building."
Once again, thanks to Charlie and the fine folks at Royal Coffee! If you'd like to read more of their findings on JNP Coffee, you can find their staff's specific write ups here for Bavyeyi Natural and here for Turihamwe Washed.
If you'd like to read more on JNP Coffee and all the projects their working on, you can visit them at jnpcoffee.com.