The Wood Foundation Africa and the Gatsby Foundation, through their joint company the East African Tea Investment (EATI), partnered with smallholder farmers to acquire the Mulindi and Shagasha tea factories in 2012 when they were privatised by the Government of Rwanda.
The factories are 100% smallholder supplied and account for 20% of Rwanda’s made tea production.
Through a combination of finance, professional management, and governance support, the aim is to transform the factories into profitable businesses for the 13,000 smallholder farmer shareholders. Once the principal investment of $10m has been repaid, and agreed indicators on governance are met, the factories will be handed to the farmers at nil return. They will be the first fully smallholder-owned tea factories in Rwanda.