Great Lakes Coffee

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The importance of women in the coffee industry
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Our partnership story with Great Lakes Coffee

Current coffee trends suggest that the ultimate vision for any coffee retail product or outlet is to have a direct relationship with the coffee source and origin. This message is constantly re-enforced through packaging (coffee labels indicating country of coffee origin, name of coffee estate, coffee variety) and through coffee outlets (design emphasis centred around the coffee machine, coffee branding and storytelling on their menus). The reality of this vision, is that whilst many claim to have such direct relationship with coffee origins, most can never back this up, and instead rely on marketing to sell their story.

With the launch of TRIBE Coffee Roasters for the Cyprus market and beyond, roaster clients now have a unique opportunity to back this claim, giving them a direct trade/relationship with the origin/source, made possible by TRIBE relationship with Great Lakes Coffee (GLC), an origin supplier, with an-80 year heritage in coffee in East Africa. GLC is an Uganda and Congo-based green coffee sourcing, milling and exporting company, representing 7% of Uganda’s total export. GLC is based on sustainability and traceability, by working directly with individual farmers, small enterprises and farmer models.

The participation of GLC in the shareholder pyramid of TRIBE gives TRIBE not only a direct link to the source at origin but also creates long-term value and interest.

Through this dynamic relationship, TRIBE ensures tangible and real benefits for all its target mark while at the same time safeguarding consistency of both product and price.

GLC: coffee season sourcing pilot models

GLC is in the third year of a large-scale project to change the economy of the entire Rwenzori region through the development of a fair, traceable coffee supply chain. By deploying over $12 million per season of crop finance into the region, GLC allows farmers to bypass the middlemen and sell directly to GLC owned or authorized partner Collection Centers in the mountains.

Under GLC’s traceability program, virtually invisible farmers will be identified and the supply chain and the region’s Arabica coffee will become a major competitor in the commercial and specialty markets, with unlimited potential to scale in volume. To determine the potential for growing a high quality Arabica in this region and the most effective way of working with Rwenzori farmer communities, GLC created and tested three Pilot Sourcing Models during the 2015 harvest season. Each pilot was designed to solve the primary problems identified in the traditional Rwenzori supply chain and to introduce a shorter, traceable and informed supply chain in the Rwenzoris, that will revolutionize the coffee industry in Western Uganda.

This first report of our GLC Western Uganda Sourcing Supply Chain covering September 2015- February 2016, represents a milestone in achieving our objectives and represents the progress achieved by our team of dedicated full time Zone Officers and Lead Farmers have achieved in the last 12 months.

1Lead farmer sourcing

GLC registered Lead Farmers buy home processed coffee from farmers/households and deliver to GLC Kasese Store.

Monitoring and Support:
Provided by full time GLC Zone Officers including; Good Agricultural Practices, Financial Literacy, Traceability Books, Reports

Traceability Level:
Achieved to farmer or household level [T.1]

Quality Target:
Commercial or Premium; Defects Preparation & Cup Score Range [80 – 84]

2Agent sourcing

Existing Independent Agents & Middlemen buy home processed coffee from other smaller agents and deliver to GLC Kasese Store.

Monitoring and Support:
Provided by full time GLC Zone Officers including; Traceability Books Reports

Traceability Level:
Achieved to village buying center level [T.2] or Agent buying center level [T.3]

Quality Target:
Commercial or Premium; Defects Preparation & Cup Score Range [75 – 84]

3cherry buying sourcing

GLC owned & operated collection centers buy cherry from farmers or lead farmers, to be processed by GLC before delivery to the GLC Kasese store.

Monitoring and Support:
Provided by full time GLC Zone Officers [ZO] including; Good Agricultural Practices, Financial Literacy, Traceability Books Reports

Traceability Level:
Achieved to farmer or household level [T.1]

Quality Target:
Premium; Defects Preparation & Cup Score Range [84+]