Living in Uganda, Africa’s second largest coffee producing nation after Ethiopia, Andrew Rugasira was surprised with the way middlemen and large foreign corporations in the sector made huge profits from the commodity while hard working farmers across the country continued to live in poverty. So he decided to do something about it.
Using his economics background and marketing experience, Rugasira created a Ugandan-based coffee processing company that would produce a quality finished product that could sell both in local shops and international supermarkets.
He devised a business model encouraging local coffee farmers to sell their beans to him at a fair price. His company would then roast, package and brand the final product, whilst the profits would be split 50/50.
And with that the Good African Coffee was born and sells its products to retailers across the world.
“(It’s) about empowerment and it’s also about ownership. It’s about owning the value chain, growing the coffee, processing it at source and it’s about exporting a finished product,” Rugasira told CNN in an interview.
“Every society and economy that’s prospered has done it through their own hard work, ingenuity, dedication and commitment,” he added.