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Improving livelihoods in Burundi via coffee

Improving livelihoods in Burundi via coffee


Burundi belongs to the world’s poorest countries. The project ‘Sustainable Coffee Sourcing from Burundi’ supports coffee farmers in Burundi to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable way. Coffee plays a vital role in the Burundian economy as the primary export product. However, smallholders face challenges such as low productivity and fluctuating yields that makes it difficult to earn a living income through coffee. A next step – beyond certification – is taken to support coffee farmers to work towards a living income, improve climate resilience and to empower women.


Positive change

Through the Selecta Coffee Fund, Pelican Rouge partners with Supremo, Rainforest Alliance (a green coffee buyer and part of ECOM group) and SUCCAM – a local green coffee exporter and Schuttelaar & Partners. The project builds upon a network of certified farmers and takes a next step – beyond certification – to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers in the Mumirwa region in Burundi. The ambition is to provide over 10,000 farmers with a living income and improve social and environmental conditions. The focus areas of the project are to support coffee farmers to move works towards a living income and improve their climate resilience, and to strengthen the social and economic position of women. To improve farmers’ income and resilience key activities are to gradually rejuvenate coffee trees by planting young and climate resilient varieties, to diversify plots with shade trees and fruit and vegetables and provide dedicated trainings on good agricultural practices. Women play a vital role in agriculture and coffee production in Burundi. Therefore women are empowered to improve their economic and social positions and to develop additional sources of income.


Structural change

Responsible sourcing is one of the strategic pillars of the Selecta Group’s Sustainability Approach. Pelican Rouge initiated the project in Burundi to give more content to the strategy and move towards the sourcing of impact coffee. By collaborating with all supply chain partners, the coffee farmers are directly reached. Moreover, Pelican Rouge is committed to include coffee from the project region in Burundi as a standard origin in its coffee blends. Well beyond the duration of this project, this embodies the structural change that benefits the farmers, the environment and the socio-economic climate in Burundi. At Schuttelaar & Partners we are proud to contribute to this impactful project.


Our role

As part of the scoping phase for the project, Schuttelaar & Partners conducted a targeted human rights in 2019. After that, we set-up the project partnership in collaboration with Pelican Rouge and supported the funding application at the Fund for Responsible Business by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). In the first phase of the project, a local impact assessment was conducted to gain more insight in the local context and select the most impactful interventions. Implementation then started in 2021 and the project will run to the end of 2022. Schuttelaar & Partners is involved in the implementation phase as a strategic knowledge partner.

Want to know more?

For more information please contact Sanne Heijnen