Kampala: Uganda has met all required standards and is now ready to export her coffee to Sudan. The latter is Uganda’s second largest market destination.
Sudan gave Uganda a two-year grace period to comply with its new standards of coffee exports or else lose the market.
While meeting a delegation of the Sudan Standards Metrology Organisation (SSMO) at the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) head office in Kampala today, Mr Edmund Kananura Kyerere, the director quality and regulatory services at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), said: “Uganda has met all the new requirements by Sudan ahead of the June 2018 deadline.”
“Since our meeting earlier this year, a lot of changes have been done in order to comply with the Sudan new standards and we are ready,” Mr Kyerere informed the delegation.
This understanding was reached earlier this year during a meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan where a delegation from Uganda’s ministry of Trade met the SSMO.
To follow up the progress, a team of SSMO officials are in Uganda for a one week tour to check all the coffee supply chain from the farmers, standards officials, UCDA and all stakeholders in the sub-sector.
Mr Zakaria Suliman Salih, the deputy director general of SSMO who headed delegation, said: “We want to protect the consumers of coffee in our country. Get to know the challenges when exporting. Doing this, we are not creating barrier to trade but instead want to facilitate the smooth flow of trade between the two countries.”
On average, Uganda exports more than 0.92m bags of coffee annually to Sudan, making it the leading importer of the country’s coffee in Africa and second importer in the world for the last 15 years.
In May 2015, SSMO sent a notification to Uganda informing them about their new regulations regarding the pre-shipment inspection of commodities imported into the Sudan which included coffee. The inspections are to be done against a new green coffee grading standard - (SDS: 1605.2015) for coffee imports.
The executive director UNBS, Mr Ben Manyindo, said Uganda was given a grace period of six months to comply with three more additional months later, ending June 15 this year.
“Because we had not complied yet, we needed more time as our coffee laboratories are not yet up to the standards to check our coffee as per the Sudan requirements. This is why we asked for more time,” Mr Manyindo said.
Uganda’s coffee exports stand at 4.6 million kilogramme bags as of September this year according to records from UCDA. Of this, 20 per cent (920,000) (60) kilogramme bags are exported to Sudan.
Uganda is Africa’s second largest coffee producer after Ethiopia and leading exporter in Africa. Records from UCDA show that the country registered a 38 per cent increase in export volume and 66 per cent in value earned.
The new Sudan set standards differ from what Uganda coffee grading system and Specialty Coffee Association of America green coffee grading protocol in several parameters such as coffee grades, moisture content and requires testing for agricultural chemical residues, radioactivity, microbiological and biochemical contaminants.
Yet for Uganda’s coffee to enter Sudan market it should comply with SSMO’s International Surveyor Certificate from International Surveyor Companies registered by SSMO; International Surveyor certificate approved by the National Standards Body of the country of origin and, Certificate from an international accredited laboratory approved by the national standards body of the country of origin.
Uganda exports 0.8 million kilogramme bags of coffee to Sudan.
Sudan is country’s second largest market destination