Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2006 (Revised July 2008)

Rwanda and the Thousand Hills Coffee Co.: Breaking New Grounds

by Geoffrey G. Jones and Michelle McDonald

Abstract

Examines the strategies of a Boston-based start-up to market Rwandan coffee. Describes the history of the coffee industry, the era of cartelization and the International Coffee Agreement, and the subsequent collapse in producer prices after 1989. Also describes the various options open to coffee producers, including recartelization, diversification, fair trade, and selling to boutique markets, the strategy of the Thousand Hills Coffee Co.

Keywords: History; Marketing Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Food and Beverage Industry; Rwanda; Boston;

Citation:

Jones, Geoffrey G., and Michelle McDonald. "Rwanda and the Thousand Hills Coffee Co.: Breaking New Grounds." Harvard Business School Case 807-004, August 2006. (Revised July 2008.)