Demand for Ugandan coffee in Italy, where espresso lovers abound, has helped increase the East African country’s exports of the beans to the highest in at least 30 years.
Total shipments jumped 21% to 6.5million 60kg bags in the year through September — Uganda’s highest in three decades — about a third of that going to Italy. With Brazil and Vietnam having had trouble exporting amid shipping disruptions, European buyers increased uptake from growers including Uganda and India.
Given supply chain problems in South America and Southeast Asia, roasters have been buying a little more from elsewhere and have been more flexible in blending, according to Mera. Uganda is Africa’s biggest coffee exporter and the continent’s second-largest producer of the beans after Ethiopia.
Ugandan authorities have attributed the success to improved quality of their beans. Last year, Nestle SA’s unit announced its program to produce and market coffee from Uganda’s mountainous Rwenzori region.