Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Coffee Processing- Savannah Commodities


As coffee is Uganda’s number one export, I was excited to learn more about the coffee process and its place in the market. Today we visited Savannah Commodities—an agriculture trading company the deals mostly with coffee and grains. We were able to look at the process from the cleaning and drying to the sorting of grades for both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. They explained how they buy from 20,000+ farmers from all over Uganda and also how they sell to world-wide buyers including roaster and coffee shops. Savannah bases its purchasing and selling price platform off the New York market which is what most of the coffee industry does. Because the markets are ever-changing, it often leads to a gamble on whether to buy or sell or to stay idle in day-to-day transactions.  In terms of sustainability, Savannah seemed to be on track, however is the coffee industry truly sustainable or what can be done to insure better sustainability?

5 comments:

  1. Morgan- I agree that Savannah seems to be on track. One thing I think that might lead to more sustainability for them in the future is the part of the process where they take out the impurities (things that are not coffee beans). I believe they could have a more efficient system if they made this process into a factory-type processing line. Many of the coffee beans are lost through the process of getting the impurities out. Otherwise, I think they have utilized the agriculture in Uganda well by processing one of the major products, coffee.

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  2. I believe that the coffee industry is sustainable like most other agricultural goods. However, the person giving the tour mentioned that due to a lack of credit from bankers it was difficult to expand their production and facilities. He mentioned that one thing the company wanted to do was increase their storage while also being able to buy and hold coffee for longer periods of time and sell coffee when prices are optimal. To do both of these, the company would need better access to credit in order to fund operations during periods where the company would not want to sell the coffee thus requiring more storage room for the increased supply of coffee. It seems that the issue of access to credit affects not only the coffee industry but also every individual living in Uganda.

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  3. I believe the coffee industry is sustainable, but to a point. I realize that climate change is affecting many other crops currently being grown in Uganda due to the fact the wet and dry seasons are not aligning like they have in years past. I feel like at some point the coffee plants will be affected by climate change, which will ultimately hurt the overall production and exportation of coffee. In order for the coffee beans to be sustainable there must be a way to try and curb the effects of climate change on the coffee beans

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  4. I think that the coffee industry will not be able to be fully sustainable due to the current status of the nations infrastructure. I do not think that the current infrastructure allows for a business like, coffee exports, to be profitable for more than the few who manage/own the plant. I think that this issue of poor infrastructure stems further than coffee exportation and into many other industries. Also, the coffee processing needs to become available to more Ugandans. They are forced to sell to a limited amount of coffee processors and therefore cannot demand a high price for their unhusked beans. The coffee plant owners have almost a monopoly since the interest rates are far too high for any entrepreneur to start their own plant.

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  5. Great thinking thanks for sharing. I am using app based on same believes you should also play this game.Smart Citizen 2.0, a Social Media App launched on the 9th of July, is a smarter version of the first season that was launched last year. It is a part of the CSR activity of Ingersoll Rand, a brand involved in the manufacturing of energy-efficient products.
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