Sholi Cooperative is located in Muhanga district, Southern Province, in the center of Rwanda, about halfway between Kigali and Lake Kivu. Established in 2008, Sholi has been producing co ee for nearly a decade. Sholi was born out of a women’s association called “Kundwa”, which means “love” in the local language. Today, roughly half of Sholi’s members are women, including two of the five board members. In addition to co ee trees at the farm level (which average ~410 per female member), the women’s association has two communal plots for harvesting and producing co ee, with over 6,000 trees as of 2021.
Co ee processing at Sholi is unique in that once the arriving co ees have been pulped, and sorted for quality, they are then dry fermented for 12-18 hours before being soaked, picked on raised beds, and left to dry for 21-25 days depending on the weather. The cooperative has continued to invest in its long-term agriculture, with over 400,000 trees already planted, and more coming each year.
Sholi co ees have some of the deepest citrus acidity seen from the great lakes countries, shining with ruby red grapefruit and juicy blood orange. Additional layers of mango, orange, and dark berry are balanced by notes of honey and a lavender-like finish.
The Cooperative received its Fairtrade certification in 2015 and Rainforest Alliance certification in 2016, and Organic certification in 2020. Using Fairtrade funds, members have started an apiary project as well as distributed cows to members.
In 2016, Sholi received a grant to build both a community center and a regional health center to serve members and residents. Capable of providing blood tests and treatment for malaria, parasites, respiratory infection, and basic first aid. While the community center o ers education for nutrition and things like cooking programs to combat early childhood malnutrition.