„Umoja“ is the name for the first product of the small Congolese company E.A.T.A.C.- S.P.R.L. This French acronym stands for „Exploitation Agricole et Transformation Alimentaire en République Démocratique du Congo“(translated: Agricultural business and food processing in the Democratic Republic of Congo). Two different sizes of packages, 125g and 15g, containing roasted and ground coffee are beeing sold under the name “Umoja”.
The Swahili word „Umoja“ has amongst others the meanings: Company, union and friendship. “Umoja” is therefore as well embodying the vision of the small company. Grown up out of friendship, it should become possible through the living and working together, to transfer more and more responsibility to the employees. The company shall be a good example for other projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as motivate other investors and give them the courage to start their own projects using the local raw materials.
The Company was founded by the brothers David and Simon Zeitvogel in March 2012. The idea was already being developed at the end of 2010, after both brothers already had some experiences with Africa. David has been in Rethy frequently since 2008. While being on a missionary outreach with DIGUNA he helped to restaurate and to bring the hydropower plant, which was poorly maintained and shabby, back into business. In the following years there were some further visits and projects relating with maintenance of the power plant and extension of the electricity grid in the region surrounding Rethy. Simon visited his brother for the first time in 2009. Both brothers had the wish to build something up and to invest in something meaningful. David made the suggestion to produce something regional together with his Congolese friends and especially to use the hydro power in a reasonable way. The idea for a private developing project, which is as well sustainable and will create jobs with fair salaries and good working conditions, was fixed even before the idea of a coffee roasting business started to take shape a few months later.
Since beginning of the production in March 2012 the name of the product “Umoja” became more familiar in use than the company name E.A.T.A.C.-S.P.R.L. Umoja employs currently three permanent workers, who are responsible for different fields. Besides, there are temporarily as well some workers on honorary fees for preparation of coffee and maintenance on house and factory building. Umoja relies exclusively on renewable energies (hydro power).