Wanale, Uganda- Filter Roast
Situated on the Wanale ridge in the shade of Mt Elgon, the Wanale AA is not only delivering delicious brews, but fueling positive community impact at the same time. This coffee is the result of great work between the Zukuka Bora Coffee Company (a long-term local NGO project) and the small holder farmers of the Bukhanakwa Village. Farmers are provided with tools, training and, as joint shareholders of Zukuka Bora, bonuses based on sales of the coffee. It’s only early days for this coffee in the specialty coffee market but the results are impressive!
The Mt Elgon region is steeped in coffee tradition dating back to the 1920s when Arabica coffee was first planted after being brought over from farms in Kenya, an established coffee producing neighbour. Despite the history, the story of quality coffee is more mixed. After independence in 1962, Uganda had a strong reputation for coffee, with well-supported cooperatives working across the mountain – most famously the Bugisu Cooperative Union. Quality cultivation and harvesting practices were employed and the industry boomed. However, over time, quality started to become compromised due to a variety of reasons and international coffee buyers started to become suspicious of the quality coming out of the country. As a result, prices plummeted, and for many farmers it was simply not worth growing coffee. There was very little differential in the market for quality locally and so quality processes were largely abandoned.
As the Zukuka Bora project started they found many farmers in the process of cutting down their coffee and growing other crops instead. However in recent years, as the specialty industry has grown, Arabica producers and companies have started to see that there is demand (and a reasonable price) for quality coffee. In the last couple of years, there has been a significant increase in interest locally, with more and more buyers exploring the area, and more companies starting up or expanding their operations. Hopefully this is a good sign for Uganda and the beginning of better opportunities through coffee for very poor farmers in particular.
Hazelnut, Red Dates and Cherry Tomato
|Producer||Bukhanakwa Farmers Group|