Uganda Coffee growers and US roasters to create business linkages
The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac will lead a reverse trade mission to the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle April 20-21 jointly with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the USAID East Africa Trade & Investment Hub.
"Whether it’s Fair Trade or organic certified, Uganda has a story to tell—and sell—in the United States," said Ambassador Malac.
She will be joined by the Ugandan Ambassador to the US Mull Katende and more than 20 Ugandan coffee entrepreneurs. This effort seeks to boost the profile of Uganda’s coffee industry, which is Africa’s largest coffee exporter but sends just three percent of its exports to the United States.
More than 10,000 people attend the Specialty Coffee Expo each year, many of whom are U.S. coffee roasters and coffee shop owners looking for the next great source of beans.
The trade mission will promote business-to-business linkages between Ugandan growers and U.S. roasters with face-to-face meetings, a cupping event, and a networking reception. U.S. companies that sell processing, packaging, and roasting equipment – all of which are essential to adding value to Uganda’s coffee crop – are eager to make connections with Uganda’s leading coffee firms.
“We’re always working to encourage trade and investment between our countries, but this effort is particularly exciting because coffee is so critical to Uganda’s future," said Ambassador Malac.
Malac said although Uganda is the 8th largest coffee producer in the world and the top African exporter, its coffee is relatively unknown in the United States. She said the market is increasingly demanding ethically and sustainably-sourced products—and people are willing to pay a premium for them.
Last year, the U.S. Embassy partnered with the American Chamber of Commerce Uganda (AmCham Uganda) on an agricultural trade mission that kicked off about $2 million in deals.