Day 1 UPDATE - EAC COFFEE BUSINESS FORUM LAUNCHING INNOVATIONS AND BREAKING DOWN TRADE BARRIERS
Tuesday February 11, 2020
Mombasa, Kenya – The EAC Coffee Business Forum today kicked off with high level speakers and the launch of an innovative online Quality Portal designed to help coffee producers better understand and meet quality requirements for exporting to the EU.
Stakeholders from across the coffee value chain have gathered in Mombasa, Kenya today until Friday February 14, 2020 for the region’s pre-eminent coffee event. The EAC Coffee Business Forum - organised jointly with the African Fine Coffee Conference & Exhibition and financed by the European Union through the MARKUP programme - will feature a week of interactive discussions, workshops and networking events. It is a forum for regional and international businesses, service providers and policy makers in the coffee sector to exchange and learn from each other as well as find markets and international sales opportunities. Key themes being addressed include the removal of coffee trade barriers with a spotlight on the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement; innovative mechanisms to facilitate access to credit, buyer and investor priorities globally and how regional growers and traders can capitalise on new opportunities around the world.
- Launch of the EAC Quality for Trade Platform. See Editors notes below for details.
The EAC Quality for Trade Platform will serve as a one-stop-shop allowing users to discover relevant quality requirements for priority sectors in the EU, including coffee. It will help users to obtain guidance on quality-related topics and share best practices, connect with relevant institutions and trade portals including national standards bureaus and individuals who can offer help along the way and gain insight from those who have already experienced success. Today we launched the Quality Compass section of the web portal, which has a focus on mandatory legal requirements, standards and market preferences.
QUOTE - Mbula Musau, from Utake Coffee in Kenya, describes the tool. “The EAC Quality Compass is a valuable tool especially for SME business like ours, because it enables us to obtain relevant market requirements and standards specific to EU countries for our specific products, in my case coffee, without literally groping in the dark. This saves valuable time and also helps with proper planning therefore increasing our capability to trade effectively. Information is powerful.”
Plenary discussions around removing trade barriers, financing for EAC Coffee growers and Coffee Talks from industry experts sharing experiences and suggestions.
REMOVING TRADE BARRIERS IN THE EAC TO BOOST COFFEE EXPORTS
Policy makers discuss progress and challenges in the EAC in addressing obstacles and barriers in the region related to the coffee value chain. After a presentation from Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, ITC Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business, Mr. Peter Mathuki, Executive Director EABC moderated a panel of speakers.
- H.E. Ms. Isabelle Ndahayo, Minister of the Office of the President Responsible for East African Community Affairs, Burundi
- H.E. Mr. Omary Tebweta Mgumba, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Tanzania
- H.E. Mr. Richard Masozera, High Commissioner of Rwanda in Kenya
- Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, Director General Customs and Trade, EAC Secretariat
- Ms. Faith Karimi, Vice Chairperson, Kenya Coffee Traders Association
- Ms. Kirsten Focken, Cluster Coordinator, EAC-GIZ
- Mr. François Nkurunziza, Managing Director, Africa Coffee Academy, Burundi
SCALING UP ACCESS TO FINANCE FOR EAC COFFEE EXPORTERS
Industry leaders shared key requirements and opportunities to improve access to finance for coffee exporters
- Mr. Andrew Darling, Head of Structuring and Operations, Working Capital Associates
- Ms. Gloria Gummerus, Director, Sakami Ranches Ltd
- Mr. Micheal Muwonge, Director, FACTS Africa
- Mr. Robert Waggwa Nsibiswa, CEO, Africa Coffee Academy
COFFEE INDUSTRY TALKS
Coffee industry leaders share key industry trends, regulations and practices with participants.
Ms. Jantien Rutte, Programme Manager, Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) presented, and then the session was moderated by Mr. Geoffrey Osoro, Acting Director of Trade, EAC Secretariat.
- Mr. Amir Hamza, Chairman of Tanzania Coffee Board
- Ms. Bridget Carrington, Coffee expert and former Managing Director of Dormans Coffee
- Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye Niyibigira, Managing Director, UCDA
- Mr. Issa Nkurunziza, Manager, Traditional Commodities Division, NAEB
- Mr. Maarten van Keulen, This Side up, Netherlands
The EAC Quality Platform will serve as a one-stop-shop allowing users to discover relevant quality requirements for priority sectors in the EU, obtain guidance on quality-related topics and share best practices, connect with relevant institutions or individuals who can offer help along the way and gain insight from those who have already experienced success.
The EAC Quality Platform will consist of four primary modules, which are being developed in stages.
The Quality Compass module allows users to discover specific quality-related requirements, including mandatory legal requirements, quality standards and market preferences for identified MARKUP priority sectors and markets. The tool will offer user-friendly insights into both what is required, practical implications for the exporter as well as some guidance on how to comply with specific quality requirements. Currently mapped in Year 1: green coffee, tea, avocado, cocoa and cinnamon. The pilot version of the Quality Compass was launched today at the EAC Coffee Business Forum.
The Quality Connect module, to be launched next in 2020, will serve to connect a regional network of Quality Champions developed under the MARKUP program. Users will be able to view profiles and make connections with other registered users who may be able to offer guidance or services (givers) or are in need of guidance or services (takers). Users will be able to connect with relevant institutions or individuals who can offer help on their quality journey.
The Quality Insights module will serve as a repository for training materials, practical guides and all quality-related technical materials developed under the project, allowing for the sharing of best practices and relevant materials across countries. Users will be able to browse materials or search for materials based on topic, sector or product.
The Quality Success module will enable the sharing of successes and impact stories, allowing users to gain insights from those who have already experienced success.
The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP)-https://www.eacmarkup.org/ - is an initiative of the EAC Secretariat, funded by the EU and Germany Federal Government (BMZ). It is implemented by various agencies, including the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNIDO, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and other partners. MARKUP aims to increase exports of selected value chains, promote regional integration and access to the European market by addressing specific challenges that SMEs, Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISIs) and policy-makers face. This will allow EAC agribusinesses to benefit from greater business opportunities in both East African and European markets and to meet the growing demand for EAC exports. In this way, MARKUP will help create sustainable market linkages between Europe and the EAC, and contribute to job creation and inclusive development in the region.
MARKUP targets coffee in all five beneficiary countries- Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Other priority sectors are spices, avocadoes and other horticultural products and tea. The areas of focus include:
- The identification and elimination of barriers to trade;
- Improving competitiveness;
- Strengthening of value addition
- Ensuring compliance with international standards
- Supporting access to finance
- Market exposure for SMEs
For further information or to be included on the daily update from the Coffee Business Forum, contact: