AGRI EVOLVE, Bukonzo Dream
AGRI EVOLVE, Bukonzo Dream

AGRI EVOLVE, Bukonzo Dream

Regular price £12.50 Unit price  per 

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This delicious lot is produced by a “profit for purpose” company who aim to create an equitable and fair supply chain, processing cherries from more than 1,000 local farmers. This lot is sweet and rich like a black forest gateau. Notes of black cherry and forest fruits with a lovely  booziness.

LOCATION: Rwenzori Mountains
ALTITUDE: 1,800 – 2,000 masl
BAG SIZE: 250g

Agri Evolve is a “profit-for purpose” business which was founded by two childhood friends, Johnny Rowland and James Wilkinson. After Johnny finished studying Tropical Agriculture at Reading University, he and James decided to travel to the Rwenzori mountains to try their hand at creating agricultural projects, a trip that was inspired Johnny’s parents’ stories from their time spent living and working in rural Uganda.

Working for a Rural Development centre in Kagando known as KARUDEC, Johnny and James were exposed to supporting individual farms in their traditional farming practices. This focus on the individual highlighted the importance of the bigger-picture and they set their sights to work and support entire communities of farmers, maximising the positive impact that they could bring to the Rwenzoris.

A consistent problem presented itself for farmers based there. They had coffee, but no access to basic harvesting or processing facilities. This, coupled with traders offering often unfair prices for their crops in a quick cash grab, set the scene for a positive actor to enter the region and transform coffee.

The opportunity for them to work alongside farmers was exactly what they were looking for. Offering an outlet for farmers to sell their unprocessed coffee, take ownership of the quality control and together improve the reputation of the coffee produced in the Rwenzori.

They guaranteed a fair market price and their long-term presence attracted international attention from buyers around the world. Rwenzori coffee had been reinstated on the global coffee map.

When Agri Evolve first started trying to buy cherries from farmers and cooperatives in the Rwenzoris, the biggest obstacle was trust. Initially the primary focus was to build relationships with the key decision makers in the communities, to invoke confidence in their untested and unproven initiative.  Given enough time there was a gradual shift in the quantity of coffee they could access in cherry form opposed to processed green.

The benefits of this approach to sourcing lie in the control of quality. Purchasing coffee as freshly picked, ripe cherry directly from farmers, and processing it at the washing station in Kisinga, enables Agri Evolve to control the variables and create consistent premium coffee which they named ‘Bukonzo Dream’.

The name is derived from The Bakonzo Tribe. A group of descendants living throughout the Rwenzori Mountains, covering both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Individuals do not necessarily identify as citizens of either country, they will proudly announce their Bakonzo heritage. These incredible people combined with Agri Evolve’s dream to connect these coffees and people with roasters and cafes, is where the name was born.

Lots are organised by geographic regions coordinated with specialist buying centres, often broken down even further into specific day-lots. The focus is on controlling the natural processing of cherries while paying special attention to controlling quality, utilising round-the-clock techniques, constantly refining every process to create the best possible Rwenzori coffee.