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WESTERN PROVINCE, RWANDA

Gisovu

& the West Rwanda estates

THE ESTATE

They stand out for their bright, brisk and golden cups. Rwanda is able to achieve this quality through a

combination of ideal growing conditions and diligent smallholder farmers and workforce.

Gisovu, along with Pfunda and Rugabano are our estates in Rwanda. The teas that these properties produce are some of the finest in the world.

2.2509° S, 29.3396° E

WESTERN PROVINCE, RWANDA

Gisovu

& the West Rwanda estates

Gisovu, along with Pfunda and Rugabano are our estates in Rwanda. The teas that these properties produce are some of the finest in the world.

THE ESTATE

Gisovu, along with Pfunda and Rugabano are our estates in Rwanda. The teas that these properties produce are some of the finest in the world.

the first wave of tea cultivation in Rwanda. The estates produces the finest leaves that find their way into some of the most iconic tea blends in the world.

Gisovu

& the West Rwanda estates

Gisovu, along with Pfunda and Rugabano are our estates in Rwanda. The teas that these properties produce are some of the finest in the world.

They stand out for their bright, brisk and golden cups. Rwanda is able to achieve this quality through a combination of ideal growing conditions and diligent smallholder farmers and workforce.

GISOVU -LTC

In 2019, Luxmi Tea Company and The Wood Foundation Africa (TWFA), a UK-based philanthropic investor, acquired controlling stakes in Gisovu and Pfunda through their joint investment vehicle - Silverback Tea Company.

For Luxmi, these two gardens represent their first investment into the Rwandan tea sector, and some of the highest quality black CTC in Africa. For TWFA, the factories offer a chance to boost the incomes of thousands of smallholder tea farmers by providing an array of professional services and incentives to maximize quality and yields.

In 2019, Luxmi Tea Company and The Wood Foundation Africa (TWFA), a UK-based philanthropic investor, acquired controlling stakes in Gisovu and Pfunda through their joint investment vehicle - Silverback Tea Company.

For Luxmi, these two gardens represent their first investment into the Rwandan tea sector, and some of the highest quality black CTC in Africa. For TWFA, the factories offer a chance to boost the incomes of thousands of smallholder tea farmers by providing an array of professional services and incentives to maximize quality and yields.

In 2007, we were producing less than 1 ton of tea per hectare; however that has since increased to more than 7 tons, thanks to the cooperative

- Thomas Sinayobye (from The New Times article)

Gisovu produces 2.3M kg annually, 70% of which is contributed by the yield from the Cooperative farmers’ fields surrounding the estate.

This makes the Cooperative and its farmers an integral part of Gisovu. Gisovu is connected to the Nyungwe forest, an ancient forest which is older than the ice age. The forest is home to Chimpanzees and colobus monkeys - and is the source of our special honey.

In Rugabano, we are undertaking one of the most extensive Greenfield planting in the world, with 4,400 hectare of planting. Luxmi and Wood were assisted by grants from DFID and help from government of Rwanda to undertake this venture.

The project empowers small-scale farmers by providing them assistance with credit, logistics and agronomy – and buys from them directly. This approach has significantly raised the incomes of the farmers involved.

The Pfunda Tea Company is located in Rubavu and was privatised by the Government of Rwanda in 2004. Pfunda is very close to the silverback gorilla country. There are 3600 farmers over 810 hectares supplying the estate who are also shareholders in the business. Over 90% of the tea is smallholder supplied.

At the heart of it, these Luxmi tea estates operate on the guiding principle that good tea depends on its source - the terroir, and the people producing the tea itself.

Gisovu produces 2.3M kg annually, 70% of which is contributed by the yield from the Cooperative farmers’ fields surrounding the estate.

This makes the Cooperative and its farmers an integral part of Gisovu. Gisovu is connected to the Nyungwe forest, an ancient forest which is older than the ice age. The forest is home to Chimpanzees and colobus monkeys - and is the source of our special honey.

Home -LTC

In 2007, we were producing less than 1 ton of tea per hectare; however that has since increased to more than 7 tons, thanks to the cooperative.

- Thomas Sinayobye, President of the Coothegim Co-operative (The New Times article)

In Rugabano, we are undertaking one of the most extensive Greenfield planting in the world, with 4,400 hectare of planting. Luxmi and Wood were assisted by grants from DFID and help from government of Rwanda to undertake this venture.

The project empowers small-scale farmers by providing them assistance with credit, logistics and agronomy –and buys from them directly. This approach has significantly raised the incomes of the farmers involved.

The Pfunda Tea Company is located in Rubavu and was privatised by the Government of Rwanda in 2004. Pfunda is very close to the silverback gorilla country. There are 3600 farmers over 810 hectares supplying the estate who are also shareholders in the business. Over 90% of the tea is smallholder supplied.

At the heart of it, these Luxmi tea estates operate on the guiding principle that good tea depends on its source - the terroir, and the people producing the tea itself.

Gisovu teas are grown in the Western Province of Rwanda, also known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills.’ The teas are grown at elevations up to 8100 feet above sea level, making them some of the highest grown teas in the world.

The estate is bordered by the ancient Nyungwe National park, the largest and best- preserved Albertine montane forest in Central Africa, also known to have survived the ice age.

The Nyungwe forest rises 9840 feet above sea level and boasts 1068 plant species, 275 bird species, 32 amphibian species, 38 reptile species and 85 mammal species, the most popular being the chimpanzee that often can be seen visiting our tea fields and our honey project. The farthest known source of the river Nile is a mere one hour hike from Gisovu. Due to the biodiversity of the terroir, its volcanic soil, high rainfall and its ecological balance, no pesticides or external irrigation are used to cultivate the plants in the Rwandan estates. All of our Rwandan teas are Rainforest Alliance certified and 100% pesticide free.

Due to the biodiversity of the terroir, its volcanic soil, high rainfall and its ecological balance, no pesticides or external irrigation are used to cultivate the plants in the Rwandan estates.

All of our Rwandan teas are Rainforest Alliance certified and 100% pesticide free.

Gisovu teas are grown in the Western Province of Rwanda, also known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills.’ The teas are grown at elevations up to 8100 feet above sea level, making them some of the highest grown teas in the world.

The estate is bordered by the ancient Nyungwe National park, the largest and best- preserved Albertine montane forest in Central Africa, also known to have survived the ice age. The Nyungwe forest rises 9840 feet above sea level and boasts 1068 plant species, 275 bird species, 32 amphibian species, 38 reptile species and 85 mammal species, the most popular being the chimpanzee that often can be seen visiting our tea fields and our honey project. The farthest known source of the river Nile is a mere one hour hike from Gisovu.

Due to the biodiversity of the terroir, its volcanic soil, high rainfall and its ecological balance, no pesticides or external irrigation are used to cultivate the plants in the Rwandan estates.

All of our Rwandan teas are Rainforest Alliance certified and 100% pesticide free.

Having one of the highest rates of female labor force participation in the world and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Rwanda has been called a model for gender equality.

Integrating women into the workforce, Gisovu empowers them by providing means to support themselves and their families. As the Rwandan estates are fairly young, the culture of tea is fairly nascent and efforts are made to train women on cultivation and the technique of tea plucking. Working with UNICEF, the young mothers are provided with mobile creche to aide them whilst plucking on steep ridges. The estate has a near 50% male to female worker ratio. The Pfunda estates have organized Aids awareness camps, constructed basketball court and in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate made water tank, benefiting about 200 families.

As the Rwandan estates are fairly young, the culture of tea is fairly nascent and efforts are made to train women on cultivation and the technique of tea plucking. Working with UNICEF, the young mothers are provided with mobile creche to aide them whilst plucking on steep ridges. The estate has a near 50% male to female worker ratio.

The Pfunda estates have organized Aids awareness camps, constructed basketball court and in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate made water tank, benefiting about 200 families.

Home -LTC

In remote hillside regions around Gisovu, the villagers would have to trek 6 km every time they needed water. In partnership with Bettys & Taylors, one of the biggest buyers from the estate, a pipeline was installed. 600 families (approximately 3,000 people) were enabled easier access to fresh water. This had far reaching implications; with more time to work people were empowered to support their families. Better access to water would reduce illness and disease. And because the children would no longer have to help with the water collections, they spent more time both at school and at play.

The Gisovu Honey Project produces natural, raw honey from the perimeters of the forest. As the bees forage amongst the indigenous flowers unique to the forest, the honey extracted has its own distinctive flavor. The chimpanzees living in the forest often foray into Gisovu for the honey.

Having one of the highest rates of female labor force participation in the world and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Rwanda has been called a model for gender equality.

Integrating women into the workforce, Gisovu empowers them by providing means to support themselves and their families.

As the Rwandan estates are fairly young, the culture of tea is fairly nascent and efforts are made to train women on cultivation and the technique of tea plucking.

Working with UNICEF, the young mothers are provided with mobile creche to aide them whilst plucking on steep ridges. The estate has a near 50% male to female worker ratio. The Pfunda estates have organized Aids awareness camps, constructed basketball court and in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate made water tank, benefiting about 200 families.

As the Rwandan estates are fairly young, the culture of tea is fairly nascent and efforts are made to train women on cultivation and the technique of tea plucking. Working with UNICEF, the young mothers are provided with mobile creche to aide them whilst plucking on steep ridges. The estate has a near 50% male to female worker ratio.

The Pfunda estates have organized Aids awareness camps, constructed basketball court and in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate made water tank, benefiting about 200 families.

Home -LTC

In remote hillside regions around Gisovu, the villagers would have to trek 6 km every time they needed water. In partnership with Bettys & Taylors, one of the biggest buyers from the estate, a pipeline was installed. 600 families (approximately 3,000 people) were enabled easier access to fresh water. This had far reaching implications; with more time to work people were empowered to support their families. Better access to water would reduce illness and disease. And because the children would no longer have to help with the water collections, they spent more time both at school and at play.

The Gisovu Honey Project produces natural, raw honey from the perimeters of the forest. As the bees forage amongst the indigenous flowers unique to the forest, the honey extracted has its own distinctive flavor. The chimpanzees living in the forest often foray into Gisovu for the honey.

Having one of the highest rates of female labor force participation in the world and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Rwanda has been called a model for gender equality.

-Pulitzer Centre

Integrating women into the workforce, Gisovu empowers them by providing means to support themselves and their families.

As the Rwandan estates are fairly young, the culture of tea is fairly nascent and efforts are made to train women on cultivation and the technique of tea plucking. Working with UNICEF, the young mothers are provided with mobile creche to aide them whilst plucking on steep ridges. The estate has a near 50% male to female worker ratio.

The pfunda estates have organized Aids awareness camps, constructed basketball court and in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate made water tank, benefiting about 200 families.

In remote hillside regions around Gisovu, the villagers would have to trek 6 km every time they needed water. In partnership with Bettys & Taylors, one of the biggest buyers from the estate, a pipeline was installed. 600 families (approximately 3,000 people) were enabled easier access to fresh water. This had far reaching implications; with more time to work people were empowered to support their families. Better access to water would reduce illness and disease. And because the children would no longer have to help with the water collections, they spent more time both at school and at play.

Home -LTC

The Gisovu Honey Project produces natural, raw honey from the perimeters of the forest. As the bees forage amongst the indigenous flowers unique to the forest, the honey extracted has its own distinctive flavor. The chimpanzees living in the forest often foray into Gisovu for the honey.

Home -LTC

Gisovu has partnered with Taylors of Harrogate, Cricket Builds Hope and the Rwanda Cricket Association in the introduction of cricket to surrounding communities.

Keeping the spirit of sports alive, cricket is bringing communities together at tea estates.

With three other estates part of the same programme, it is designed to bring the benefits of cricket, including physical fitness, teamwork and the spirit of the game, to rural communities in Rwanda where there is not much organised sport.

The coaching kicked off in early 2019 and is made available for the next 3 years. The programme will culminate in a tournament at the Gahanga Stadium in 2021.

Gisovu has partnered with Taylors of Harrogate, Cricket Builds Hope and the Rwanda Cricket Association in the introduction of cricket to surrounding communities.

Keeping the spirit of sports alive, cricket is bringing communities together at tea estates.

With three other estates part of the same programme, it is designed to bring the benefits of cricket, including physical fitness, teamwork and the spirit of the game, to rural communities in Rwanda where there is not much organised sport.

The coaching kicked off in early 2019 and is made available for the next 3 years. The programme will culminate in a tournament at the Gahanga Stadium in 2021.

Gisovu has partnered with Taylors of Harrogate, Cricket Builds Hope and the Rwanda Cricket Association in the introduction of cricket to surrounding communities.

Keeping the spirit of sports alive, cricket is bringing communities together at tea estates. With three other estates part of the same programme, it is designed to bring the benefits of cricket, including physical fitness, teamwork and the spirit of the game, to rural communities in Rwanda where there is not much organised sport.

The coaching kicked off in early 2019 and is made available for the next 3 years. The programme will culminate in a tournament at the Gahanga Stadium in 2021.

Home -LTC

Despite being young, Rwandan tea outperforms its neighbours.

The Pfunda Estate spreads over 1318 hectares producing bright, flavouring teas producing 2.5 million kgs of tea on an average every year for export.

The Rugabano factory was commissioned last August 2019, and international buyers have already noted the high-quality potential. Teas are bright, golden, brisk full-bodied cups with seasonal flavour becoming apparent in teas produced during the dry spell.

Gisovu produces some of the finest teas in Africa and is known for its bright, golden, full bodied and brisk cups. The basket of proven quality producing tea cultivars, the high elevation at which the tea grows, Gisovu’s geolocation, the microclimate created by the surrounding Nyungwe forest and our young, acidic, light volcanic soils all come together to bring about the unique Gisovu cup of tea. Gisovu teas have, over the years received several awards at tea competitions across the globe. Gisovu teas are an integral component of the Yorkshire tea and Yorkshire Gold, the leading quality tea blends sold in the United Kingdom.

 

Despite being young, Rwandan tea outperforms its neighbours.

The Pfunda Estate spreads over 1318 hectares producing bright, flavouring teas producing 2.5 million kgs of tea on an average every year for export.

The Rugabano factory was commissioned last August 2019, and international buyers have already noted the high-quality potential. Teas are bright, golden, brisk full-bodied cups with seasonal flavour becoming apparent in teas produced during the dry spell.

Gisovu produces some of the finest teas in Africa and is known for its bright, golden, full bodied and brisk cups. The basket of proven quality producing tea cultivars, the high elevation at which the tea grows, Gisovu’s geolocation, the microclimate created by the surrounding Nyungwe forest and our young, acidic, light volcanic soils all come together to bring about the unique Gisovu cup of tea. Gisovu teas have, over the years received several awards at tea competitions across the globe. Gisovu teas are an integral component of the Yorkshire tea and Yorkshire Gold, the leading quality tea blends sold in the United Kingdom.

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