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Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) worked on supporting the growth of trade in the region, focusing on ensuring trade results and tangible gains for east Africans. TMEA chose coffee as a focus for their export capability programme as a high contributor to GDP and forex for the EAC countries, its high potential for poverty reduction and ability to impact large number of women.

This collaboration with Twin focused on landlocked countries such as Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda with learning from other East Africa countries. Rwanda and Burundi have the highest potential for speciality coffee markets and its high prices are mainly due to having the right certification demanded by the market, the project focused on marketing these two origins.

designed by market analysis

The intervention was designed in market analysis, the map illustrates key constraints and market chain actors, the critical inputs/services that market actors needed and the key 'influencers' which were at play in the business environment. The mapping process provided clarity regarding how market chain linkages and functions could be improved so as to facilitate the flow of income to target producers and was a basis of intervention design.  

create demonstration effects from processing coffee to certification, export process and market access

The specific interventions of this two year project were:

  • Developing and harmonising good coffee washing practices in Rwanda and Burundi and providing training for technical staff to meet these practices, will increase the amount of quality coffee available for sale on speciality markets. 
  • Improving buyer linkages will provide access to speciality markets and higher prices.
  • Streamlining and harmonising export processes for coffee will reduce the barriers to trade in these countries, decreasing delays and facilitating export. 
  • Increasing the number of auditors certified in these countries will improve services needed to facilitate trade in certified coffee, thus increasing its value on the international coffee market.

Reach: 10 Producers organisations in Rwanda and 10 in Burundi, cupping lab in 10 of them.

Partnerships with stake holders in the region: LEAP process, Rwacof, IWCEA, MAERKS.

To find out more, watch this video: