No doubt is the agricultural sector in many countries in Africa an untapped sector for real economic progress and job creation. Joachim Davidsson from B Open writes about the coffee trend on the continent.
When we have been travelling in East Africa (for example) we can see many producers of high quality agricultural products such as coffee, tea, fruit and more that have a hard time to reach markets but also to find ways to grow.
We can see more and more foreign investments in the tourist, hospitality and retail sector but those investors also come with their own foreign supply chains and could work more with local sourcing if there was a demand and also reliability for volume and shipments. Many are making own initiatives sourcing food and drinks locally as a strategy in the hospitality industry [lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line etc] and the practice will hopefully continue to expand into other areas of procurement.
Coffee in East Africa is a very important commodity but one way to also help farmers climb in the value chain is promoting more regional coffee drinking.
This is the case in many markets in East Africa now where we can see more and more coffee shops. As we are working in Uganda we can see that today about 3% of the coffee produced are consumed locally and that is about 1.3% of GDP or 340 million USD in value.
The Ugandan Government is working on strategies and promotions to increase that to 9-10% of GDP which would mean around 2.3 billion USD and according to Government sources have the possibility to create up to 1 million new jobs in Uganda alone.
We are working with our partners in Uganda to create a long term multichannel strategy. Quality and supply chain have to improve to satisfy demanding international customers for raw coffee but it is also time to create products that is suitable for the regional market. Some of these products will focus on price, some on flavour and some on fashion.
We hope to see more local roasters grow and also local coffee shop network as we believe the Cooperatives of Uganda and East Africa should have a close eye on creating their own coffee ships and supply chain network where consumers can find both coffee but also other local made food products.
By Joachim Davidsson – This article was published in cooperation with B Open
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