CFC CERTIFICATION PROJECT DEEPENS

A group of ten Trainers of Trainers (TOT) and four auditors are scheduled to have a number of training sessions this month and next week respectively for the ongoing coffee verification and certification which is a project funded by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) who mandated the East African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) to over see the implementation of the project in nine member countries.

The training for the TOT’s comes as the next phase of the project kicks in after the Master trainers who had undergone training in Nairobi in June 2011 are ready to teach the TOT’s on the different standards of certification. The training becomes so critical in that the TOT’s chosen are most important personnel to the project because they have the challenging task of teaching the farmers the different certification standards of UTZ, fair-trade, Rainforest alliance, 4C and Organic translated in the various local languages that farmers are more comfortable with .

In the same time line two of the four auditors will undergo a 22 working day , first batch training in Nairobi on the 8th August 2011 which will see them fully fledged auditors under Africert for which they will sit two set of exams set by national and international certification bodies . This opportunity will open doors for the participants as it has been indicated that there is a lack of properly trained auditors on continent.

The project was formed to train farmers towards good agricultural and management practices that would ultimately lead to their coffee being verified and certified with the fact that it is no longer a case of if the future will be determined by certified coffees but rather a case of when.This project being a pilot project will determine the existence and success of future projects that will be implemented as the industry turns its attention to certified coffees.

EAGLE EYE AFRICA LTD TO LAUNCH PRODUCT FOR THE COFFEE INDUSTRY

A new member of Uganda Coffee Trade Federation, Eagle Eye Africa Ltd is set to launch its new products to the Uganda market but firstly to the coffee sector on the 9th August 2011 at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala at 9:00Am.

Eagle Eye Africa Ltd’s desire to showcase their products to the coffee industry comes from a researched belief that the coffee sector and agriculture sector will benefit from their new varieties of different products. Eagle Eye Africa Ltd is an African distribution agent for the Canadian based company called BioFert which is a leading provider of organic and organic based fertilizers for the large agricultural and retails markets around the world.

It manufactures non-toxic, biodegradable, eco-friendly and high grade certified organic and organic based nutrients and supplements that lead to superior quality production while maintaining a high cost-benefit ratio for the growers to meet today’s economic challenges. BioFert caters for all segments including certified organic crops, open field crops, greenhouse crops ,fruits and vegetables, turf, landscape, nurseries, etc. BioFert products have already been introduced to the Rwandan market and its time to establish them in Uganda.

It is in this regard that the Executive Director UCTF invites the coffee community especially those that work with coffee farmers and farm organizations especially Organic coffee as well as those growing it to attend as their products will be very helpful to the future of many farmers.

UCDA BOARD MEMBERS HAVE A BRAINSTORMING SESSION

The challenges affecting the coffee sector are a daily concern to many of those involved in the coffee sector and on 14th July 2011, the board members of the regulatory authority had a brainstorming session to look at these various issues.

The theme of the session was “finding solutions to the challenges of the coffee sub sector”. First discussed was the issue of production and productivity where the discussion point was how effectively the industry can speed up the multiplication of the CWD, how can the industry mainstream provide a distinct framework to monitor and respond outside the generic MAAIF framework which is neither efficient nor effective, is the current extension system adequate for the coffee subsector and most importantly how can the industry double production with the current acreage.

The second issue was Quality where the point of discussion was what can be done in the interim as the industry awaits the National Coffee Policy to mitigate the quality deterioration.

The third issue discussed was Value addition and Promotion to which the point of discussion was operationalization of the wet mills under the SEP project hence the question what can the industry do to ensure that all the plants are functional and what strategies with scenarios can be looked at and implemented?
The fourth and last issue discussed was Finances where the point of discussion was the funding of the priority areas like coffee research, coffee extension, and coffee replanting on a sustainable basis hence the question how can the industry mainstream the strategies for funding for the areas in the planning and operations and stop handling it on an adhoc basis?

Board members and UCDA personnel highlighted how important it was to persistently, consistently and effectively remain in the face of the President of the country in order to get the due attention.

The measures for the way forward were discussed later on in the afternoon which hopefully shall be put into effect as many of these problems need to be solved sooner rather than later.