Ruiruiru is one of a few co-ops that deliver coffee to the Mathira North Coffee Society. If you love the sparkling clarity and melon high notes Nyeri can deliver, you’ve probably tried a cup of Ruiruiru before--perhaps under some other name.
This 500-some person co-op once produced tons of lovely Kenyan coffee for the more quality-focused of the national chains. When you tasted a major-label coffee branded as Nyeri, or even just “Kenyan,” you might have been enjoying the fruits of Ruiruiru and their neighbors.
Over the last decade, however, prices for this exceptional Central Kenyan coffee have skyrocketed. (In our opinion, this reflects farmers and producers actually receiving a fair price for their coffees--as long as they do actually receive it.) The big coffee companies have moved on to other, cheaper, markets.
Meanwhile, those high prices haven’t always made it to Ruiruiru. In autumn 2016, almost $40,000 worth of their coffee was stolen from a warehouse... just four days after an executive moved it there “for security reasons.” Oh, and the local police were getting paid an extra fee to guard that warehouse at night, for whatever that’s worth.
So the growers of Ruiruiru are feeling pressed from both sides. The big chains won’t pay the extra dollar for world-class coffee, but their local support system isn’t exactly supporting them. We can’t solve all their problems, but when we buy their coffee, we make sure they really get paid.