Kagera Co-operative Union (1990) Limited
Robusta Coffee Export
HOW IT ALL STARTED
How KCU (1990) Ltd Traded in Coffee before and after 1990:
Coffee was collected at the primary society; this is where KCU Ltd transported it from, to the processing plant, before railage to the port of exit.
Samples were picked at the port and presented to Tanzania Coffee Board for auctioning.
For the farmers under KCU Ltd, knowledge of where coffees goes usually ended at the auction point.
The visit to KCU Ltd by Fair Trade Original in 1990, (by then known as S.O.S Wereldhandel) stimulated an idea of KCU involvement in direct coffee exports.
The visit came at a time when prices were disappointingly low due to the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) in 1989
It is the same moment that the government was disassociating herself from coffee price setting for farmers.
The Coffee Cooperative movements which were not linked to the Fair Trade system collapsed with these changes mainly because they could not recover production costs from the conventional prices they received from the market.
Those linked to Fair Trade System survived mainly because what they shipped to the market fetched at least the Fair Trade minimum price with which one can easily recover costs of production.