Successful Ugandan coffee growers run own processing factory

Back in 2012, the ACPCU union in Uganda had an ambitious plan: to build their own processing factory for coffee beans. A dream that requires a considerable investment. Funding was secured in 2013 and as of 2015, the factory has been 'in business'.

Back in 2012, the ACPCU union in Uganda had an ambitious plan: to build their own processing factory for coffee beans. A dream that requires a considerable investment. Funding was secured in 2013 and as of 2015, the factory has been 'in business'. 

Since 2012, Agriterra has been providing the union with advice, training and workshops in order to obtain investment. Now that members process the coffee beans themselves, the union adds value and increases the export quality. These developments have a direct positive impact on the affiliated coffee growers and their families. The collaboration with Agriterra provides:

  • A higher income
  • More employment opportunities
  • Development of a concrete business plan
  • Strengthening of the organisation
  • Access to loans totalling 1.5 million dollars
  • Access to foreign investors

Certified supplier
As a union, the ACPCU represents more than 6,000 small-scale coffee growers in the Bushenyi district of south-west Uganda via 17 affiliated cooperatives. Thanks to its status as a supplier of certified Fair Trade coffee to European coffee roasters, the union already had an excellent sales channel. However, the dream was to expand even further by having its own processing factory.

From the dream to investors
This dream demands a great deal of ambition, combined with a credit-worthy and professional organisation with access to foreign capital: A challenge for which Agriterra fits the bill. Since 2012, Agriterra has been involved as a partner in making this ambitious investment plan a reality. 

As is customary, the collaboration began with a review of the organisation within the framework of a company assessment. 2012 then saw the execution of a feasibility study for the desired investment. In the period between 2013-2014, various Agripoolers contributed to the business plan and further development.

In 2013, the ACPCU management paid a working visit to the Netherlands and Germany. The aim of this trip was to strengthen ties with purchasers and to pitch the investment plan to financial institutions (Rabobank and Triodos Bank). The pitch was successful, as they managed to secure some foreign investors.

Added value of Agripoolers
In a number of consulting assignments, Agripoolers provided support with drawing up sales forecasts and cash flow calculations. They also gave advice in the fields of financial management, internal control and human resources. On top of that, a training session was conducted to increase member commitment. This is an important factor, as a factory will only become profitable with a reliable supply of coffee beans from the members.

Full steam ahead!
General manager of ACPCU, John Nuwagaba, is very pleased with the new opportunities that have emerged from the collaboration: "Agriterra has helped us identify the weaknesses in our organisation and given us the necessary tools to improve on these points."

"An example is the financial administration, which is now organised much more effectively at both the affiliated cooperatives and the union. They also helped us establish contact with international partners. This has led to an improvement in the relationship we have with existing purchasers, and we gained access to new potential purchasers and financial backers."

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