CONTEXT AND CHALLENGES
Quality certifications as a door opener to international markets
Ideal climatic conditions, fertile soils and a landscape of hills and mountains make Rwanda a prime location for the cultivation of high-quality tea. However, in order to sell the tea internationally, certificates are needed that prove the corresponding quality. Producers in Rwanda often do not have the financial means and the specific know-how to obtain certificates such as organic, Fairtrade, quality management systems (e.B.ISO 9001) and/or food safety standards (e.B. HACCP).
One of these companies is Karongi Tea Factory in western Rwanda. Karongi Tea Factory produces exquisite black CTC (Crush, TEAR, Curl) tea, green tea and orthodox tea. The company sees itself not only as a high-quality tea producer, but also as a co-creator for the socio-economic development of the Karongi region. Karongi Tea Factory aims to make a contribution to reducing poverty and creating jobs.
PROJECT APPROACH AND PROJECT GOALS
Promising potential for sustainable tea
The Alliance for Product Quality in Africa, which is part of Invest for Jobs, provides targeted support, for example in the form of training, to help the Karango Tea Factory achieve the last component of Fairtrade and organic certification. For this purpose, the company’s already implemented quality management systems and quality standards are being built upon.
These standards and certificates are important to establish the trust with European buyers and to ensure the tea’s quality.
Thanks to the certification obtained, TeeGschwendner – the largest German retailer in the tea sector – is one of these European customers. The company operates more than 100 franchise stores throughout Germany. During a mission of buyers in Rwanda in October 2021, representatives of TeeGschwendner were able to get first-hand impressions of the high-quality production of Karongi Tea Factory.
‘Rwanda has great geographical potential for high quality tea. Since the country is at a very young stage of tea development, general ideas on sustainable and organic farming are easily accessible and manageable. It will certainly help in building a trustful national brand for Rwanda Tea, that could easily lead Africa’s premium tea sector!’
- Daniel Mack, Head of The Tea Department, TeeGschwendner
STATUS AND OUTLOOK
Quality creates trade
In a variety of projects, the Alliance for Product Quality in Africa is working with manufacturing and processing companies from selected agricultural value chains towards quality certification according to private standards. Thereby, working conditions can be improved and incomes can be increased in the long term. Further information, including projects and our work in other sectors and countries, can be found on our website.
The Alliance for Product Quality in Africa, which is part of the Special Initiative for Training and Employment, and the Business Scouts for Development, carried out by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supports tea producers in Rwanda in order to improve the quality of their products and to obtain the quality certificates required for international export.