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What trends offer opportunities for exporters of specialty coffee from Uganda?

Speciality coffee is becoming a trend and lifestyle choice in the mid-range to high-end segment of the European coffee market. The growing interest and knowledge about the coffee sector amongst European consumers is creating a unique opportunity for producers and exporters in developing countries such as Uganda. They can meet the increasing demand in high quality coffees.

What requirements should specialty coffee from Uganda comply with to be allowed on the European market?

Ugandan commercial coffee is often prepared in global trading centres and exported after value-adding processes. But specialty coffees from Uganda follow an essentially different trade structure.

What are the most promising European markets for specialty coffee from Uganda?

The main destination markets for coffee changes according to the quality. High-quality coffees are commonly sent to USA and Japan, while low- to mid-range qualities are sent to re-exporting countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Sudan, Italy and Belgium.

What prices are paid for specialty coffee in Europe?

Supply and demand levels are the most important factors in determining physical green coffee prices. However, on the global commodities market there are other factors which influence price. Quality is one of the most relevant for producers and exporters of specialty coffees. Each specialty coffee is unique with regard to a specific origin, process, characteristics, flavour and final quality. Therefore they are priced differently.

Through what channels can I get specialty coffee from Uganda on the European market?

The main EU legislation you'll have to take into account relates to food safety. For specialty coffees, the superior quality of the products and traceability are the most relevant contractual and additional requirements.

The Italian market potential for coffee

Italy is the second-largest importer of green coffee beans in Europe, after Germany. Coffee is an integral part of Italian culture. In addition to its own domestic market, Italy is also an important supplier of roasted coffee to other European countries. Italian espresso blends are famous around the world, and Italian coffee brands are appreciated by consumers worldwide.

Which trends offer opportunities or risks in the European coffee market?

The European coffee market is mature, but constantly evolving. Specialty coffees, single-serve methods and ready-to-drink coffees are growing in popularity. Sustainability remains a top priority for industry stakeholders. Buyers and retailers often use certification to promote their sustainability efforts. The growing consumer demand for traceability and transparency in the value chain has influenced the growth in direct trade between producers and European roasters.

Which requirements should coffee comply with to be allowed on the European market?

Buyer requirements can be divided into two groups: (1) legal and additional requirements which are applicable to all coffee exporters and (2) niche requirements, for coffee exporters aiming at accessing specific segments. Food safety is an important focus in legislative and additional requirements for coffee, including prevention of contamination. In terms of niche requirements, the growing importance of certification schemes follows the European trend towards ethical consumption. Nonetheless, high quality in itself is an important determinant in specialty markets.

Exporting coffee to Germany

Germany is the most important European importer of green coffee beans. German consumers prefer high quality, lightly roasted Arabica coffee. Their interest in other varieties of coffee products is growing, including specialty coffee and freshly ground coffee pods. Organic certification and other sustainability certifications for coffee are increasingly important on the German market. Given the continuous growth of the organic coffee market in Germany, organic certification can be an interesting proposition for coffee exporters.

Exporting coffee to Finland

Finland has the highest per capita coffee consumption rates in the world, at around 12 kg yearly. Finland imports almost all its coffee directly from developing countries, with Brazil as main supplier. A large part of coffee imports are re-exported to Russia in green or roasted form. More and more Finnish consumers are interested in a higher quality and more variety. Small specialty coffee roasters emerge, opening up space for a wider range of origins and suppliers within the Finnish market.


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