circle of excellence
quality control

the origin story

In Cameroon we work with smallholder farms from the Cameroon Boyo project led by Matti Focha and his team. The liberalization of the coffee and cocoa sectors of Cameroon in the early 1990s made coffee production unsustainable for smallholder farmers, leading many to replace their coffee trees for food crops. The Cameroon Boyo™ Coffee project was launched in 1998 with the goal to develop a new approach, the collaborative trade process, that would revive the production of coffee and bring about the economic empowerment of farmers in the process. In the past twenty years Matti has been busy doing just that, focussing on quality and promoting specialty coffee from Cameroon, a country is most known for Robusta production. We see Cameroon as a rough diamond, supported by excellent climate and altitude for the growth of Arabica plants. 

Cameroon Boyo’s “Circle of Excellence” program gives smallholder farmers the tools, methods and guidelines for upgrading production and post-harvest processing. By focusing on quality at farm level they are able to build on the knowledge which forms the basis for achieving sustainable specialty coffee in the long run. Cameroon Boyo takes care of milling, sorting, storage and working conditions. Our role as The Coffee Quest is to provide feedback in Quality Control. Currently we differentiate two qualities; The village-based “Circle of Excellence” lots that represent small groups of farms working together on supplying uniform lots. Secondly, the limited volumes from Matti’s own farm Alongsi, and micro-washing station Belo Acha. Both locations are used to experiment with techniques and setup. They have achieved excellent results in both quality, farmer participation and professionalism, and are ready for the next step. Clients are invited to work with Cameroon Boyo and collaborate in promoting the village based groups, to create a joined approach, product and identity. This way, through collaborative partnership, farmers reach all the way into consumer markets. 


circle of excellence

The Circle of Excellence groups are the “building blocks” Cameroon Boyo employs to ensure quality and growth. Farmers with adjoining farm lands organize themselves in groups of 20 or fewer self-governing units to form a Circle of Excellence. Working together in small groups provides an opportunity for investments in farm processing facilities that would increase both provide yield and quality, while reducing effort and cost of production.​

belo micro washing station​

Hilltop (local name Cameroon Boyo Team) started the construction of a pilot micro washing station in June 2013 on a piece of land made available by one of our leading farmers in the town of Belo, using locally available material and personnel. The initial construction consisted of the platform for the pulping machine and the fermentation tank inluding it’s water pipes. ​

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Coffee facts - cameroon

Cameroon was once the 12th largest coffee producer in the world, but it is now in 31st place, after production sank from 156,000 tons in 1990 to barely 25,000 today.