Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), in collaboration with the Uganda Embassy in Moscow, have held a meeting between Russian investors and Uganda coffee exporters.
The investors from Russkiy Product, a company from the Russian Federation, are interested in buying Ugandan Robusta coffee to produce instant coffee.
Addressing the exporters at Coffee House, Kampala, Mr Johnson Olwa, Uganda’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, called on them to take advantage of the opportunity of meeting the investors to sell more coffee in Russia.
“The company has a big supply chain of coffee. They buy from several [coffee-producing] countries, including Uganda through third parties but they now want to buy directly from Ugandan producers and exporters,” Mr Olwa said.
He assured the exporters that Russkiy Produkt, which is located in Kaluga city and Moscow, is a genuine company to work with.
The Director Strategy and Business Development, David Katungi, speaking on behalf of UCDA, said the meeting was a result of several engagements between UCDA, Uganda’s foreign missions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for investments opportunities in the Uganda coffee sub sector.
He thanked Mr Olwa, for operationalizing this engagement to link the private sector here in Uganda with the business community in Russia.
“UCDA has a responsibility to facilitate these engagements to promote coffee and look for links in foreign markets,” Katungi said.
Katungi also expressed Uganda’s commitment to coffee production and export through its national Coffee Roadmap which targets to produce 20 million 60kg bags of coffee annually by 2025.
“We want to assure you that we have the coffee and we have plans to produce even more. Your choice to do business with Uganda is the right decision. We assure you of volumes and quality,” he said.
He added that there are several opportunities along the coffee value chain including plans to set up a soluble coffee plant in Uganda as well as roasting and other value addition opportunities.
Uganda, he said, is unmatched by any African country in providing the best investment environment and incentives.
Alexsei Pashkiv, co-owner of Russkiy Produkt, told the meeting that they are interested in purchasing Robusta coffee to produce instant coffee in Russia.
“The Russian market consumes instant coffee. Although Russia has traditionally been a tea drinking country, the coffee market is increasing,” Pashkiv said. “We are looking for good suppliers of green coffee for instant coffee production and we need volumes.”
Besides instant coffee, the company produces potato chips, baking mixes and other products. Pashkiv commended the ambassador and UCDA for working tirelessly to create connections between Uganda and Russia and representing the private sector needs in Russia, respectively.
Pashkiv was accompanied by two sales colleagues from Russkiy Produkt, Sergei Sharposhnikov and Bugaera Elena.
In her remarks to the exporters, UCDA’s Acting Director Quality and Regulatory Services, Doreen Rweihangwe, recounted the Robusta coffee quality specifications that the investors requested for through the regulator, including the organoleptic and physicochemical properties, safety parameters, packaging, storage and transportation and labeling.
The meeting participants discussed the specifications and agreed to have individual (B2B) meetings with the investors to deliberate more on how best they will work together.