Tanzania Mwalyego

Tanzania Mwalyego

Honeycomb, peaches, florals, lime, red twizzler, vanilla wafer

$25.00 — $120.00

IN THE MIDST OF SWEEPING REGULATORY CHANGES
MWALYEGO STAYS FOCUSED ON QUALITY
Greetings from Edison and the crew at Mwaylego AMCOS!

Everyone here at C2C has been looking forward to this coffee for months now. With recent policy changes in Tanzania’s coffee sector (this month), we are all the more appreciative of our partners, and of their leadership.

In Mwyalego this leader is Edison Mwakalasya, who continues on come high or low harvest.

The following is from a conversation we recently had with him, checking-in on this past harvest.

…I am [still] training other groups to produce bio-fertilizer in the areas where network [extension services] is not available. About my group [Mwalyego Amcos], we have 5 more members this year.  But harvest is down. Last season yield was 35 tones of parchment, [and] was 23 tones this season.  We added portable drying tables 50 pieces of 2 meters each…  ~Edison Mwakalasya

In summary – despite a low harvest they are still increasing membership while managing to invest in both plant health and processing practices. That’s welcome news.

From here, the conversation went on to policy. New regulations remove the direct export option, requiring all coffees go through the national auction. This change is now effective.

And it’s not wholly bad. Mwalyego can set a high reserve price for their coffee, scaring all but the most specialty of buyers away. Plus, the auction is a good system for transparency and price discovery – at least when it comes to setting a floor.

That said, this system will remove incentive for exporters to provide extension services (credit, training, seedlings, fertilizer, other farm inputs). It also mandates that additional premiums paid through this system go towards community works, not extra income for members.

The government proposes to step in where the private sector can no longer invest; we hope the transition is quick and increases access, as there is much work to be done. Many farms in Tanzania require more investment to replant aging trees and to address drying practices – two key crossroads in Tanzania’s path of self-improvement.

We like it when we can align our payments to incentives. When we can deal directly and invest alongside communities. We can still do this, to some extent, but these changes take options off of the table for us. Including us riding off of the investments made by exporters as they wind-down their extension services. Unless the government picks up the slack, quickly, and proves to be a capable providers – farmers will be left in the lurch. What is for certain, regardless, is that they will not be seeing an increase in investments.

We see this a speedbump, not a road closure.  We will keep our relationship with Mwalyego as a matter of course, but our strategy for securing their coffee will need to change.  We will need to work with mills and export partners – and with the new government extension services – to give this community what they need to contribute at their very best.

Trust develops over time, but as it increases so many transaction costs decrease.  Things get easier, faster, more efficient. When challenges arrive, you face them as a team – making both parties more resilient.

We include our customers in that three-way handshake.  Edison and his community will need to adjust to the new system – and during this transition they will be more vulnerable.

We stand behind this community, and invite you to do the same. It doesn’t hurt that coffee is easy on the lips.

 

Country:  Tanzania

Altitude: 1500 meters

Province:  Mbeya

Variety:  Kent, Bourbon, N39

Process:  Fully Washed, 48 hr ferment

Flavor:  Honeycomb, peaches, florals, lime, red twizzler, vanilla wafer

Body:  Medium to full

Acidity:Notes: Bright