The tea in Rwanda is well known all over the world for its infusion and enhanced brightness. Rwanda Mountain Tea produces some of the finest teas in Rwanda by investing in tea processing facilities, expert monitoring and guidance in crop production.
Starting in 2006 onwards, Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd became a leading indigenous private investor in tea factories and plantations, acquiring majority shares in a number of formerly government-owned estates, including; Nyabihu and Rubyaa (in Western and Northern region), Kitabi (in Southern region), and Gisakura and Mata (in South-western region).
In addition, as part of its expansion plan, Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd has invested in setting up a tea factory at Rutsiro (Western region), specialized in producing organic black CTC, orthodox black and green tea. Another recent addition is Gatare Tea Company in Nyamasheke district that is scheduled to be commissioned before the end of the year.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd investments in the tea sector targets improvement in tea production through better farming practices and acquisition and expansion of tea fields across the country. The cycle has been completed by upgrading and building modern tea factories; and establishing a blending and packaging tea plant to cater for needs of end-consumers of tea in Rwanda and progressively in the region and other parts of Africa. Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd is recognized globally for producing some of the best black CTC tea in the world, and has won accolades at various tea cupping sessions worldwide.
Besides producing and trading tea, Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd is a key private investor in renewable energy. It has to date put up 2 hydro power plants along Giciye River that supply 8 MW to the national grid. It is in the process of building another plant on the same river with a capacity of 7.2 MW. In other related developments, Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd has signed concession agreements with the Government of Rwanda on 2 existing micro-hydropower plants to generate an additional 4 MW.
The companies in group blend in easily in the communities where they operate, contributing to building schools, health centers, feeder roads, and houses to the very poor. They also contribute to the national program of one cow per poor family by annually giving livestock to the needy families.
RMT offers more than 25,000 jobs to the rural communities in addition to buying green leaf from local out-growers, thereby providing all year round market for their produce. The company blends well with the communities where it operates, contributing to the socio-economic development of such communities through; building schools, health centres, feeder roads, houses for the very poor and bringing potable water to residents.
Finally Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd is a large tax payer and reinvests its profits in the country, thus contributing to Rwanda’s economic development.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd is an investor in tea plantations and tea processing facilities. In August 2006, the Government of Rwanda under the privatization policy sold to Rwanda Mountain Tea controlling shares (90 %) of two tea estates of Nyabihu and Rubaya – both in the North Western region of Rwanda.
The other 10% is owned by out-grower tea farmers. Again in 2009, still in the privatization process, Rwanda Mountain Tea acquired 60 % shares in Kitabi Tea Company (in the Southern region).
Then in 2010, still in the privatization exercise, Rwanda Mountain Tea in a consortium with an Indian company – Jay Shree Tea & Industries Ltd - successfully bid for 60% shareholding in two companies of Gisakura Tea Company & Mata Tea Company in the South West of Rwanda. Rwanda Mountain Tea not only owns the referenced shares, but also has management contracts with Rubaya – Nyabihu Tea Company, the company under which Rubaya and Nyabihu tea estates operates; and Kitabi Tea Company, the producer of the Kitabi tea mark.
The objective of the privatization process is to reinforce the tea sector by encouraging private investments that would bring in the needed expertise towards improving competitiveness of Rwanda teas in the global market. Rwanda Mountain Tea also has majority shares in a packaging plant – Rwanda Tea Packers – that sells packaged Rwanda teas mostly to local markets.
The vision of Rwanda Mountain Tea is to be a regional leader in exporting top quality tea to world markets. The tea companies source the green tea leaf from their own plantations and from out growers, and process it into black tea mainly for export markets. So far, the teas from factories under Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd management attract some of the best prices on Mombasa tea auction market.
The majority of the teas are sold on the Mombasa auction with a few private sales.
Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd sells 1% of its teas locally in value added through Rwanda Tea Packers, a blending company in which it has majority shares, which blends both CTC black and green tea.
Some companies in the group have obtained Rainforest Alliance Certificates and others have registered for certification either with Rainforest Alliance or with ISO 22000. All the companies hold Pesticides Residue Certificates.