In 2003, Ugandan entrepreneur Andrew Rugasira had an idea; he believed that it was time for Africans to process and market their own products globally and use trade as a means to bring about the sustainable development so desperately needed by the farmers and communities.
That same year Andrew and a small team of dedicated colleagues travelled to western Uganda, a region that once produced quality coffees, but had over the years suffered from poor farming practices and low prices. Seeing the potential, the Good African team began organizing the farmers into producer groups. The team then embarked on an intensive program of best practices training for the farmers to produce quality Arabica coffees that would ensure a better return on their harvest. Today, we are proud to say that more than 14000 farmers have joined our network of suppliers.
In 2004 the company launched its roast & ground coffees in South Africa through the Shoprite Checkers supermarket chain.
In 2005 Waitrose became the first UK supermarket chain to list Good African roast and ground coffees. The following year Good African launched their freeze dried coffee which together with their roast and ground coffees was listed in Sainsburys.
For decades Africans have produced what they do not consume and consumed what they do not produce. With few exceptions, processing and value addition has historically taken place outside Africa. Good African decided to address this by setting up a roasting and packaging facility in Kampala in July 2009. Processing the coffee in Uganda where it is grown allows the company to retain a greater proportion of the value addition thereby enabling the Company to better support the farmers and empower their communities.
More from this author:
January 19, 2013 - Coffee entrepreneur Andrew Rugasira on empowering women farmers in Uganda
April 18, 2012 - Don't Help me, Trust me Your African Coffee Producer
April 6, 2012 - Can Coffee Kick-Start an Economy?
November 11, 2011 - Selling Ugandan coffee on US shelves: A story of persistence and constant lessons
November 9, 2011 - Selling Ugandan coffee on US shelves: A story of persistence and constant lessons
October 29, 2011 - Good African Coffee: From Kasese hills to American malls
October 29, 2011 - Andrew Rugasira Rebuilding Uganda One Farmer At A Time
October 22, 2011 - Andrew Rugasira:Rebuilding Uganda One Farmer At A Time
December 13, 2010 - When it comes to dealing with austerity, Africa wrote the textbook