Five U.S. coffee buyers traveled to Burundi from May 20-23, 2018, to experience Burundi’s coffee supply chain and establish direct lines of communication with coffee producers and exporters. The mission, organized by the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) with grant support from the USAID Hub, led to potential specialty coffee sourcing deals valued at $150,000. Some of the buyers also took samples for cupping in the U.S., which may attract additional deals in the coming month.
INTERCAFE (the coffee inter professional association of Burundi) hosted the team. The buyers visited several coffee farms, washing stations, and dry mills in the Northern Burundi, and cupped the new crop in several dry mills and cooperatives cupping laboratories.
The buyers had varying levels of experience in Burundi. They ranged from a U.S. importer that currently obtains 25 percent of Burundi’s coffee production to companies looking to begin sourcing from Burundi. Thanks to the trip, buyers were able to meet with coffee growers and see the coffee supply chain firsthand, giving them insights into the local market and production processes. With this knowledge, U.S. buyers are better equipped to expand their sourcing of Burundian coffee.
Danna Wasserman of Sucafina North America commented, “Amazing trip; learned an incredible amount and am expected to channel the info and passion towards new business from Burundi.”
Since October 2017, the USAID Hub has supported five coffee buyer missions in East Africa, which have produced $810,000 in potential deals between U.S. companies and East African growers.