News from our Members.

Project to enhance access to the African specialty coffee market through promoting the sale of coffee online.

African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have come together to promote East African coffee to the global coffee market using an innovative online market place and business model developed by Bean Auction Ltd.

AFCA’s Taste of Harvest program is the leading regional cupping competition in Eastern and Southern Africa. It provides producers, millers, and exporters in AFCA member countries with a platform to showcase their coffee.

While the main purpose of Taste of Harvest is to identify, catalogue, and promote the region’s quality coffees, the program has a much broader impact on the development of the region’s coffee sector by facilitating linkages between African producers and international buyers and building capacity across the African coffee value chain. The results of the competition are  published and buyers can approach the producers directly and make an offer to purchase this coffee.

For the past year AFCA has been searching for an auction system to help market African Specialty coffee globally. It is hoped that by advertising the coffee to a larger group of potential buyers African companies will be able to obtain  better prices.

In a collaboration facilitated by ITC under the Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) project  Bean Auction Ltd. is working with AFCA to provide an online solution for a specialty coffee auctions and an electric platform for African coffee. Bean Auction Ltd is leveraging IT, local partnerships and proven supply chain management techniques to enhance outreach of the auction and to mitigate risk . This model fits with AFCA’s long term strategy.

The new Taste of Harvest competition will use AFCA’s network of industry and local government connections to develop online specialty auctions that work for Africa. Each country has a slightly different system with different legal and infrastructure constraints that need to be taken into consideration. Existing infrastructure in these countries will be leveraged to deliver measurable benefits to the coffee industry in Africa.

“This project will change the way the market perceives East African coffees and in doing so will generate higher prices for coffee producers. In turn, this will demonstrate to farmers that investing in improving quality results in better prices.” Samuel Kamau, CEO, African Fine Coffee Association

For more information contact:

Annual World of Coffee Exhibition
23rd to 25th June 2016, Dublin, Ireland

Preparations by AFCA for the Annual World of Coffee Exhibition are now in full gear – DON’T MISS OUT!

Secure your 1 hour Dedicated Cupping Slot now at AFCA Booth Number H2a!

Participation Fees

  • AFCA Members – Free  for a shared cupping session with one other member: Members must submit 3 of their top coffees.
  • Non – Members – $250 for a dedicated cupping session: Non – Members must submit 6 of their top coffees.

Complimentary Event Entry Tickets will be made available to AFCA members who have signed up for the offer.


All participant’s coffees must be backed by lots and should be their top quality.

Specific information required on the Coffees submitted:

  1. Company/Farmer Group Name
  2. Contact Details
  3. Origin
  4. Region
  5. Variety
  6. Altitude
  7. Processing Method

Visa support letter

AFCA can assist in visa facilitation letters if you have not yet acquired your visas. If you wish to receive the official AFCA visa support letter, please provide us with the following personal information:

  • full name (as it appears on passport)
  • date of birth
  • citizenship
  • passport number
  • date and place of issue of passport
  • date of expiry of passport
  • name of employer
  • job title / designation
  • phone number
  • postal address of your Irish Embassy / Consulate


  • All members are requested to make their own travel and hotel accommodation arrangements for the event. You can visit the SCAE website information on recommended hotels.
  • Please, visit the website of the Irish Embassy in your country for details on how to apply for a Ireland/EU Visa, and do so as early as possible, if possible more than 1 month to the event.

Cupping Confirmation Deadline: 16th May 2016
Samples must be received by 23rd May 2016 at the AFCA Secretariat in Kampala



By Lucy Murumba

The Coffee industry is a very crucial sector to the Kenyan economy and it is the key export earner. Over 700,000 small holder farmers representing about 5m direct dependents organized into producer cooperatives and producing 60% of the Kenyan coffees depend on it. The balance comes from the plantations (small, medium and large).

Kenya is the origin of nature’s finest coffee containing more than 800 different aromatic compounds. Kenya’s Arabica coffee grows in well drained volcanic soils mostly around the snow-capped Mt. Kenya, Aberdare Ranges, Mt. Elgon, the Kisii and Lower Eastern highlands and some areas of Rift Valley all very close to the Equator. The Coffee value chain in Kenya is dominated by small holder farmers through cooperative system at the production and primary processing level.

Smallholder coffee farmers in Kenya had for a long time wanted to market their coffee directly to buyers overseas, and to create a business relationship with their buyers but lacked the necessary linkages to do so. As such in year 2009, they came together through their Co operative Societies and established the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE) to explore end-to-end farming, processing and marketing of their produce. The formation of KCCE was the farmers’ vehicle to the international relationships through the direct sales approach also referred to as the “second window”, which was introduced in Kenya in 2005. The second window operates alongside
Kenya’s traditional coffee auction system.

To read more please visit on Page 25 –

Hamza Article

In June 2015, I was privileged to visit the Amir Hamza Processing and Exporting Offices in Bukoba Tanzania. For two weeks, in June of 2015 I embarked on my second annual back packing trip through the Bukoba, Mwanza Region of Tanzania. My decision to go to the Bukoba Mwanza region for two weeks was influenced by selection of Tanzania as the venue of the 14th AFCC & E and my Grandfather. My grandfather Kenneth Mdoe, of the Sukuma Tribe originally lived in Bukoba before moving to Mwanza for work with the local council under the then Nyerere Government. He and my grandmother then had two children, my uncle, who was born in Bukoba and my mother who was born in Mwanza.

In 2014 I travelled through Burundi, Rwanda and DRC. The choice of the Burundi, Rwanda and DRC option was greatly influenced by the 11th AFCC & E that was held in Burundi. It was my first time to visit this region. Heavily impressed by the heart of Africa, I made my first trip through this region armed with nothing but a rack sack, $200, a phone and a map.

This trip was therefore destined to be both emotional and insightful. My visit to the small town of Bukoba included visits to the Bukoba Airport, Bunena Church, Kagera Museum, Mater Misericordiae Cathedral, ELCT Tea Room and enjoy a nice beer & fish at Kiroyera Tours.

Having secured my accommodation at the Perfect Hotel at negotiated rate of $38,000 a night, I met up with Mr. Bilal Hamza and his wife in town near the New Rose Cafe. Our drive in their famous land cruiser that I have seen at almost every conference (Bujumbura, Kampala and Arusha) took us up and out of the city, through a manmade forest and finally to the plant which currently sits on 16 hectares overlooking western shore line of the Lake Victoria.

For more on the article please visit Page 18 at – 

Ecom 1by Thomas Delbar & Emmanuel Egaddu

Kawacom Uganda Limited is proud to announce its provision of Starbucks with a Single Origin, Special Reserve coffee.  The distinctive cup profile of ‘SIPI FALLS’ Fully Washed has earnt its position on some of the most coveted shelf space in the Specialty market.

Starbucks describes the coffee as having “lemony acidity and a creamy cup feel with caramel accents”.

Kawacom is the Ugandan branch of the ECOM Agro-Industrial Group, and is, since 1996, the leader in sustainable coffee initiatives and export of certified coffees. Kawacom believes that by investing in farming communities the company can positively impact the quality of life of its members and the environment in the areas in which it works.  Since the late nineties it has been working with the diligent farming communities surrounding Sipi Falls on the slopes of Mt. Elgon.  Today 11,000 farmers are certified to Organic, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance standards.

Sensing the potential to improve the area’s coffee output Kawacom constructed, in 2009, a fully equipped, state-of-the-art centralised wet processing mill unique to Africa. This centralised processing facility has an 8.5mt/hr cherry processing capacity, mechanical dryers, retractable drying yard roofs, a 300 Mt warehouse and a natural waste water treatment system using volcanic rocks in combination with various aerobic and anaerobic digestion techniques so as to leave no footprint on the environment. Through the deployment of such a coffee processing mill, Kawacom enhances the quality of smallholder-grown fine Ugandan Arabica.  By selling cherries, as opposed to semi-washed parchment, farmers have seen an increment in price relative to market values and consumers around the world have been taken aback by the Fully Washed end product.

Discerning Specialty Roasters have long since been sceptical of Ugandan coffees but Kawacom has bucked this trend.  Henry Ngabirano, MD of the Ugandan Coffee Development Authority, wrote “Uganda will not be able to thank [Kawacom] enough for making Ugandan coffee occupy shelf space in the most quality conscious market in the world.” Thomas Delbar, Commercial Manager of Kawacom, expanded: “Respecting standards, both of quality parameters and of certification requirements, along the value chain means that there is better life out of coffee”.

Through the hard work involved by all of Kawacom’s staff and member farmers, Kawacom is honoured to have been recognised by Starbucks in this way.  The company hopes that this recognition for Ugandan Specialty coffee will grow over the coming years as the country’s coffee infrastructure expands and farmers continue to work hard seeing greater economic benefits.

The proof of this already lies in the distinctive cup profile of Uganda’s Sipi Falls.


On Thursday, 15th October, I&M marked one hundred years of existence since Isadore and Mark Smith registered the company in Johannesburg and started trading. On this date, the company Directors together with the staff hosted a celebratory Cocktail Party and dinner.

The guests in attendance were one hundred and seven in number including close commercial friends and family who travelled more than a thousand Kilometers to join us at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg for the celebration. Not only was it a time of celebrating I&M, it was also an opportunity for the attendees to network and meet new people.

Who we are

I & M Smith (Pty.) Limited is a South African based company which has been trading since October 1915 and in this respect, is presently within its centenary year.   The company trades worldwide and has over these many years, built up a strong and reliable reputation with global tea and coffee producers, local rooibos producers and global tea packers, coffee roasters and rooibos packers.

The company functions as an importer of bulk teas and coffees for the Southern African industries from the Central and South American, African and Asian producer countries, while buying teas and coffees from producers in Africa and rooibos from within South Africa, for shipment to clients in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.    The company sports Fair trade and Organic Certification for Tea, Coffee and Rooibos and is likewise registered as a trader of Tea, Coffee and Rooibos with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified, while being a member of 4 C Coffee Association.

Aside from the companies support for sustainable teas, coffees and rooibos, the company has always been an active member of both the African Fine Coffees Association (formerly EAFCA) and the specialty Coffee Association of Southern Africa.  Participating in all the activities of these associations, in their bid to forward the growth and fortunes of the African coffee industry.

With the company’s good history within the agricultural industry in Africa, the company has separately developed an agricultural machinery division, which represents manufactures of machinery related to the coffee and tea farming industries. Including in terms of the company’s regional central and South African relationship with Pinhalense Brazil, for coffee wet and dry processing and grading equipment, along with the other fine processing equipment that Pinhalense supply.


Dear Coffee Stakeholders,

African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) invites you to attend cupping sessions of Unique African coffees, winners of The Taste of Harvest Competition season 2014/2015 from Malawi, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya & Ethiopia

Please join us to experience the distinctive tastes of these amazing African coffees!


Tuesday June 16th 11hrs – 12:30 hrs. and 14hrs – 15:30hrs.
Wednesday June 17th11hrs – 12:30 hrs. and 14hr – 15:30hrs

Thursday June 18th 11 hrs. – 12:30 hrs. and 14hrs – 15:30 hrs.

The cupping will be held at the Nordic World of Coffee in Gothenburg – AFCA Booth No B12

We look forward to meeting you there

Due to a limited daily cap of 19 people, please Contact Faith;



Thank you!

cafeThe Café Africa team is happy to share with you a link for the recently approved coffee extension materials developed with the support of aBI Trust, that CAU is hosting on behalf of the Uganda National Coffee Platform as agreed by the National Steering Committee in February this year:

CAU is also about to begin an IDH funded District Coffee Extension Pilot  (DCEP II) to roll-out and test the materials in 6 pilot districts, in which 30 agronomists per district (180 in total) will be trained in the use of the coffee extension materials.  An end of project evaluation of the DCEP II will be shared with stakeholders to provide for continuous improvement in extension services material development and revision and ultimately a national roll-out of coffee extension services across the Country.

This year will also see another round of the annual coffee shows in 6 districts of 5 regions of the Country – a total of 30 coffee shows are presently funded.  CAU continues to support District Steering Committees in the preparation and coordination of the coffee shows and encourages all stakeholders to be actively involved in these important events.

For more information contact;


Regina Nazziwa

Finance and Administration Assistant

Café Africa Uganda

3rd Floor Bakwanye House, Wampewo Avenue

P.O Box 31668, Kampala

Tel: 256 (0) 771004380


Agriculture Minister Geraldine Mukeshimana (L) and Sir Tom Hunter cut the tape to inaugurate the coffee factory as Naeb Director General Bill Kayonga looks on. 

Rwanda Coffee industry has been improving over decades and its recent achievements are commendable. The fact that the number of coffee growers has increased proportionately and consistently with coffee production is a true testament to NAEB’s bold vision of turning dreams into reality.

It’s for such grounds that Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) sat and eyed into Rwanda-based coffee roasting and packing operations as a financially viable and profitable business, with the potential to significantly benefit coffee farmers, the coffee sector and the Rwandan economy as a whole. Thus CHDI founded Rwanda Farmers Coffee Company (RFCC) with Rwanda Government as shareholder. The new coffee plant, branded “Gorilla’s Coffee” was officially inaugurated on March 6, 2015 by Hon Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources alongside Sir Thomas Hunter, one of shareholders and Hunter-Foundation owner.

The function took place in the NAEB complex where RFCC is built. The delegation was informed on how the coffee plant operates and relevant information was shared with them in a 30 min tour they had with a lead of Mr. Innocent Uwimana the managing Director of RFCC.

“This state-of-the-art roasting facility can produce 3,000kg of roasted coffee per day or more when additional shifts are added equivalent to 10% capacity of green coffee National production.” Innocent briefed the press.

For more information please visit –

The price of coffee in the International market in the last six years has been rising and future projection that pricing will remain high is good news to our local farmers in Kenya.

Kenya coffee export revenues in 2009/2010 amounted to KES 16 Billion, according to statistics from the Coffee Board of Kenya, the industry’s regulator. In turn, coffee farmers earned as much as KES 140.00 a kilo, a return that has not been experienced in near past.

This is encouraging the farmers to up their production, while boosting the desire by farmers who had abandoned the sector as a result of poor returns to go back to coffee growing.

According to Dr. Romano M. Kiome, CBS, the Permanent Secretary in the Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, the full recovery of the Coffee Industry to its annual potential of 100,000 Metric tonnes would contribute an additional 1-2 percentage points to the growth of the economy, contributing to 6.5% of growth of the National GDP in 2011.

The multiplier effect of the related economic activity would further fuel economic growth and contribute towards Vision 2030, an economic blue print aimed at transforming Kenya into a middle income country by the year 2030.

For few years now, the annual Kenyan coffee production has oscillated around an average of 50,000 Metric Tonnes. “We expect to increase our production to between 80,000 and 100,000 MT annually in the next three years,” said Dr. Kiom.

Although a small producer, at an average of 50,000 Metric Tonnes annually, Kenyan coffee is highly sought by roasters globally due to its high quality, thus increasing its value, hence demand.

During an event to mark the achievement of the Coffee Development Fund’s (a State corporation that finances coffee sector in Kenya) ISO 9001:2008 certification in Nairobi on June 10, 2011, Dr. Kiome, expressed confidence that it is possible to ride on the current farmers’ buoyancy on coffee farming and surpass the optimum of coffee production experienced in 1980s, when coffee was the country’s top export earner.

“Given the fact that coffee price in the International market is high, and the trend for such improved pricing is expected to continue for a considerable time in future, I am confident that this target is achievable,” he said.

In order to achieve this desired target, the stakeholders in Kenyan coffee sector are focusing on sector reforms that would address the welfare of the farmer at the grass root.

According to Mr. George O. Ooko, the Managing Trustee, Coffee development Fund, it is imperative to address various challenges that face coffee farmers such as cherry hawking and theft to prevent mass exodus from coffee farming in preference to other sectors; including real estate development.

Such reforms include efficient management in coffee industry, ensure that the bounty sum of net sale of coffee produce goes back to the farmer, while facilitating continued access to affordable credit facilities that unburden the coffee farmer financially, enabling him or her to access farm inputs easily, finance farm operations, coffee transport and processing as well as price stabilization.

The impact of the renewed farmer interest in coffee farming is being felt, if the request for funding for farm operations and inputs the Coffee Development Fund is receiving from farmers is anything to go by.

From some 3165 farmers that sought and were advanced KES 72.5 million worth loans in 2007, the number of farmers and amount advanced has steadily increased each year. By June 2011, Coffee Development Fund had served approximately 65,000 farmers with advances worth KES 1 billion.

This credit facility coverage is still way below the desired. There are about 650,000 smallholder coffee farmers who are members of cooperative societies and about 3800 small to large estate coffee growers, and not all these farmers have affordable access to affordable loans to finance their coffee farming.

According to Dr. Kiome, in order to meet the required optimum production, the coffee industry in Kenya needs financial support of KES 12 billion.

Mr Shadrack Mubea, the Commercial and Credit Manager at the Coffee Development Fund says that though there exists other few  (commercial) financial entities in the coffee industry, the farmers have shied away from approaching these institutions due to stringent measures that are required in order to access a loan.

“Stringent demands especially on collateral security required to get a loan have burdened coffee farmers in the past. That is why CoDF is tailored to ‘unburden’ them with not only accessible, but affordable advances, where only social security is needed, where farmers come together to guarantee each other as the security for a loan.”

Mr. Mubea concedes that with new confidence in coffee farming, the desire for loans is even more than can be satisfied by the CoDF.

“Nevertheless, we are planning to reach out to those coffee farmers not yet served by CoDF,” says Mr. Mubea.

In addition, the fund has launched an internship programme, engaging some 37 interns send out to various coffee growing regions in Kenya to market CoDF credit facilities to coffee farmers in societies and estates.