Who we are
Kagera Co-operative Union (KCU) is a Voluntary Association of 125 Primary Cooperative Societies representing over 60,000 small farmers of the mainly Robusta Coffee in Kagera Region in the north west of Tanzania (West of Lake Victoria). Each primary society is owned by about 500 small coffee producers. Kagera Co-operative Union Ltd therefore has about 60,000 members. For a primary society to be a member of KCU Ltd, it has to own shares in KCU.
Each primary co-operative society has about nine committee members,and two representatives to the KCU General assembly which convenes twice a year- this is the supreme body for KCU Ltd decision making.Primary cooperative societies also hold general assemblies before each assembly of the union.
Since its establishment in 1950, Kagera Co-operative Union Ltd members mobilized themselves to market their own coffee.Their marketing had till 1990 always ended at auction,previously at Mombasa port of Kenya,and later at Moshi in Tanzania where coffee exporters gather to bid for different coffee lots.
Our cooperative movement has since then changed shape at different stages,but always maintaining the same goal,services to its members and long term plan of self-sufficiency in marketing own crop.Our connection to the fair trade partners in 1990 was stone to our new error of direct connection to the consumer community.
Mission and Objective
KCU Ltd was established to maintain favorable markers to raise farmers’ income. The co-operative has since make great achievements.
To improve the well-being of its farmers by assisting them to produce a high quality product that continues to capture the satisfaction of its customers and hence fetching premium returns.
KCU Ltd as co-operative movement pools all members’ production costs together and benefits are equally distributed to the members-it is this sort of unity that makes KCU Ltd with affiliation to the fair trade movement manage within the hostile liberalized marketing system.
The fair trade benefits earned by selling about 50% of the total production to the fair trade system may be briefly narrated as follows;
a) Members has remained together as an organization as they enjoy secure prices and fair trade premium compared to what they could earn if they were divided and selling their coffee to the conventional market.
b) KCU has created reliable and permanent partnership with its customers especially the 100% fair trade companies like Twin Rapunzel, Café direct, Gepa, Oxfam, trade fair original, and Trade Aid importer, just to mention some.
c)Fair trade social premium has been put into use at different primary societies. Some societies have built additional classrooms and health centers while others have constructed and repaired roads which head to crop collection centers
d) KCU members who are now more informed of market behavior and fluctuations in prices can now be more easily explained .This is because we received plenty of marketing information from our fair trade partners and other buyers.
e) Environment protection,its KCU strategy as prior pointed out that at one point all our primary cooperative societies join the organic coffee project to ensure protection of our environment.