April 2018 – Following a joint mission between the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and the GDSA Secretariat to Uganda in February, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge has announced a new collaboration with the Government of Uganda to work together to establish coffee as the first sustainably-grown agricultural product. This announcement was made during the 121st session of the International Coffee Organization's Coffee Council in Mexico City, Mexico.
"This new partnership show a willingness of governments to work collaboratively to ensure our ability to meet the growing demand for coffee in a way that supports economic development among producers and conserves the unique tropical ecosystems in which coffee grows," said Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets and Strategy at Conservation International.
Uganda's participation in the Challenge builds on the country's 'Coffee Roadmap', which sets out the ambitious target to increase annual production from 3 million to 20 million bags of coffee per year by 2025. Uganda is the second GDSA member country to join the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (Rwanda being the first). Two other countries - Mexico and Costa Rica - have also joined the Challenge.
"Coffee production is integral to the Ugandan economy as it contributes to 20 to 30 percent of our exports," said Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority. "We are excited about this new partnership with the Challenge, which will allow us to realize the targets in the 'Coffee Roadmap' by tapping into ways we can renovate and rehabilitate our coffee production sustainably for our smallholder farmers who are the majority of our coffee growers."
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge, formed by Conservation International and Starbucks and launched during the Paris climate meetings in 2015, is uniting players from across the coffee industry – growers, traders, roasters, retailers, governments and nongovernmental organizations. It aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee while partnering to find solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change and other stressors.
The Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) Secretariat is working to promote the Sustainable Coffee Challenge in its member countries, as a platform that helps countries move towards implementing the second GDSA Action Statement. More information about the collaboration can be found in a joint case study published by the GDSA and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, available online.
About the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge convenes, unites and urges the coffee sector and conservation partners across the industry to spur the actions and investments necessary to make coffee the first sustainable agriculture product in the world. The Challenge is committed to stimulating demand for sustainable coffee across the value chain, from the policymaking level to the final consumer. By encouraging demand for sustainable coffee, it leads to investments that enable the transition to a sustainable production and ensuring the coffee we drink is a sustainable product.
About the Uganda Coffee Development Authority
Uganda Coffee Development Authority was established by an Act of Parliament 1991 and amended in 1994, Cap. 325 under the laws of the Republic of Uganda. Uganda Coffee Development Authority is established as a public authority and its mandate is to promote and oversee the coffee industry by supporting research, promoting production, controlling the quality and improving the marketing of coffee in order to optimize foreign exchange earnings for the country and payments to the farmers.