The process kicked off with a meeting with their Ugandan counter-parts, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) at their head offices in Bweyogerere, from where they addressed the press.
Addressing the press, SSMO Director General, Dr Awad M. A. Sokrab said they were in the country to verify Uganda’s coffee chain – from the garden to processing.
“We met with producers of about 44 commodities and businessmen and agreed that all commodities (entering our market) be issued with certificates as proof they met SSMO’s quality standards,” he said.
“We are thus here to verify the coffee chain from the garden to processing so as to reduce the quality gap since we both(UNBS & SSMO) aim at protecting the consumer and our national economies.”
Speaking on behalf of Uganda, UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo said, “You are very much welcome to Uganda. We are ready for you. We will take you to our two labs and during your stay here, you’ll be meeting exporters, processors and farmers.”
He further thanked them for supporting Uganda’s economy, saying they consume 20% of Uganda’s coffee.
“You contribute greatly to our economy and we value you so much.”
The four day event will see the Sudanese delegates meeting coffee processors, farmers and exporters. It will end Thursday and Friday is the day when the team is expected to be leaving for their country.
The inspection of Uganda’s coffee came just a year after Uganda was given two year to comply with the coffee standards set by SSMO – where all coffee entering its market has to be issued with certificates.
The only accepted certificates are those from SSMO’s international surveyor certificate from international surveyor companies registered by SSMO; an international surveyor certificate approved by the national standards body of the country of origin, and a certificate from an international accredited laboratory approved by the national standards body of Uganda.
Further to this, Sudan appointed an inspecting company to carry out pre-shipment inspection of the Uganda coffee exports to Sudan.
On average, Uganda exports over 0.8m bags of coffee annually to Sudan, making it the leading importer of the country’s coffee in Africa and second importer in the world for the last 15 years.