Slow Food Uganda, in collaboration with Coffee Quality Assurance LTD[i], are happy to announce the 3rd edition of the Slow food Coffee Festival which will take place on February 17th – 18th 2018 at Maluku grounds in Mbale, Eastern Uganda under the theme, “CELEBRATING UGANDA’S SPECIAL COFFEE VARIETIES”.
Today in Uganda as the nation boasts of over 1.3 million family coffee farms from where more than 5.5 million Ugandans directly derive their livelihoods. The heavy land fragmentation in the coffee growing areas has made coffee growing a predominantly small holder producers’ crop in a country where it is no doubt coffee farm production is a leading means of economic survival for the rural population.
Slow Food Uganda recognizes both the pecuniary and intrinsic value of coffee and the role of smallholder coffee producers in sustaining the coffee sector in Uganda. Several interventions have been undertaken by Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity to promote indigenous and local coffee varieties, improve the quality of coffee farm production and the livelihoods of small holders coffee farmer by helping them progress their coffee farm produce up the coffee value chain and pack it as a finished product for distribution to the end consumer as well as encouraging local coffee consumption through establishing of local farmer owned coffee houses.
This way, Slow Food Uganda’s quest is to create a coffee network relying on the ancient coffee varieties of Uganda through initiatives which includes the establishment of the Luwero Kisansa coffee Presidium and the support to coffee farming communities among which is the Mihale Nyasaland coffee farmers.
Slow Food Uganda, in collaboration with Coffee Quality Assurance Ltd, a local organization passionate about crafting solutions that promise sustainable quality coffee production for a sustainable market system, is organizing the third Slow Food Uganda Coffee Festival under the theme Celebrating Uganda’s Special Coffee Varieties. Slow Food Uganda believes the various special coffee varieties of Uganda being the key to ensure sustainable livelihoods to rural small scale farming communities.
This edition’s major aim is to build the first foundation of a network of specialty coffees of Uganda, and as such, we shall focus on show casing all existing indigenous and traditional coffee through the communities of the Slow Food Uganda network as well as the custodian communities of these coffee varieties in Mbale and other districts of the country. All along the event, we will share knowledge among various key players in the coffee value chain, debate on how to build a more virtuous coffee system, initiate networks between these players and launch the new Slow Food Uganda Coffee Presidium in Mbale for the Nyasaland coffee growers.
Objective of the festival
Main Objective
The main objective of the Slow Food coffee festival is to build a network of all the coffee actors who believe in the potential of Ugandan specialty coffees as a key to ensuring sustainable coffees for sustainable livelihoods and sustainable wealth for the rural small holder coffee farming communities in Uganda by providing an exhibition and discussion platform for all players in the coffee value chain in Uganda including but not limited to producers, roasters, coffee shops and farm based export initiatives.
Specific Objectives
To create awareness about the Ugandan special coffee varieties and their potential.
To facilitate knowledge, experience and information sharing among different stakeholders on best coffee management practices, quality management and defense of the local coffee biodiversity in Uganda.
To promote local coffee consumption among the Ugandan population and educate the population on the importance of coffee consumption and various way of consumption.
To exhibit the work done by various stakeholders in the coffee sector especially those small scale players in the Uganda Coffee Network.
To show initiatives from the secondary coffee products such as liquor, cakes as well as handcraft, bio- gas, art, animal feeds…
Description of the event
The 3rd Slow Food Uganda coffee festival is planned and scheduled for the 17th -18th February 2018. The event will take place at Maluku ground in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.

Childrens’ Corner – Coffee art craft and plays with kids
from coffee used materials. Coffee for cosmetic purposes such as soaps/candles/coffee peelings and others o Involving local artists and schools
Coffee House – Stands with different coffee businesses that will present Coffee Brewing Methods from very basic to complex. The coffees will be sold for regular or a festival price. The businesses can be as well selling their coffee packs and coffee merchandising. o Involving local coffees houses and shops, roasters, input dealers and coffee companies.
Competition – Three competitions shall take place. A first one will showcase a latte Art competition. A second one will showcase a competition between roasters to vote for the best coffee or coffee blend. The third one is a cup tasters’ competition in which participants are presented with eight sets of coffee each containing three cups from which they are expected to identify the odd cup of coffee out of each set.
 Involving roasters, baristas and cuppers.
Experimental Catering and Coffee Lab – Presenting and selling different products made of coffee such as cosmetics, foods, drinks, coffee art, coffee flour, cup of coffee, steamed cherries o Involving creative businesses from coffee co-products
By-product and circular economy – Presenting the possible uses for by-products like manure, urban farming, animal feeds, bio-gas… o Involving creative innovation from coffee by-products
Movie Screening – Screening documentaries that are related to coffee production and or coffee industry and culture o Involving Slow Food, UCDA, cultural agencies
Coffee Start-up – Presenting interesting personal stories of Ugandan start-ups and businesses related directly or indirectly to coffee
Involving innovative businesses from coffee
Educational workshops about coffee chain- Fun and knowledge sharing presentations on different stages of coffee topics such as: How to grow and harvest coffee. Methods of coffee processing and how to roast and sort coffee. How to prepare coffee and to degust. Each topics shall have a workshop dedicated to it.
Involving farmers, barista, roasters, organizations and leaders.
Conferences – Few conferences will take place to discuss about some topics and to lead some discussion about the future of coffee sector in Uganda. The topics shall involve the following: 1. Potential of Specialty coffee in Uganda. 2. Breaking the intermediary for a fair coffee chain. 3. Perception of coffee consumption in Uganda. 4. How to develop organic coffee. 5. How to promote Ugandan coffee worldwide.
Launch of the Mihale Nyasaland Coffee presidium – The event will also launch the new presidium of Slow Food Uganda in order to support one of the Ugandan special coffee varieties, Nyasaland.
Involving Mihale Nyasaland Coffee farmers, Slow Food Uganda, Local government officials…
Slow Food Pavilion – Exhibition of the work and projects in the Slow
Food in Uganda.
Biodiversity Tents – Exhibition of the work and project of Slow Food Uganda to preserve the food biodiversity o Involving Ark of Taste tent, Terra Madre communities
Catering – Mostly Local Ugandan Food, finger foods (such as sambusa, Rolex,), juice bars, potentially Ethiopian and other countries cuisines and how they prepare their coffee o Involving restaurants
Entertainment – Ugandan music artists like Moris Kirya, Local dance companies and some humoristic.
Expected participants and/or partners
Small Scale coffee Producers from the Slow Food Uganda Coffee Network (Luwero Kisansa presidium, Mihale Nyasaland coffee farmers, Bukunja Youth farmers’ association) and from others networks (Bugishu Cooperative Union, Okolo Coffee Growers Cooperative Union, Kisoro Mountain Organic Coffee Farmers Society)
Civil Society Organizations that express interest in participating in the Festival (Café Africa, Africa Fine Coffee Association, Agrico Focus, NUCAFE, Abitrust)
Researchers from various Agricultural research Institutions in Uganda and abroad (NARO, CURAD…)
Representatives of NGOs, Private Sector like coffee shops (Coffee a cup, Sound cup, Coffee mocca, Coffee, Eco-shamba café, Mobile coffee…), exporters (UGACOF, Great Lakes Coffee, Kawacom…), Information and communication companies, Coffee
Roasters (Classcof, 1 000 cup, Elgonia…), Input dealers and Governmental
Institutions (UCDA, local government, NAADS among others)
Cultural leader (Inzu Yamasaaba)
Tour companies (Uganda Jungle Lodge, Casa Del Turista)
The General Public; Participation will be open to the general Public on registration at the entrance gates.
Expected outcomes
A network of special coffee varieties actors is built and ready to work together. Thanks to the conferences, some key initiative shall be set up and thanks to the many informal meetings and discussion, key partnerships will be establish to enhance the special coffee varieties of Uganda. In addition, promotion shall be planned in the future to give more visibility to special coffee varieties.
Increased awareness among the participants about the Ugandan coffee special varieties and their potential for rural development.
Ancient coffee varieties specific to Uganda will be mapped and rediscovered during the event.
Increased knowledge among the participants about the benefits of coffee consumption and about the method to drink coffee.
Give knowledge to the coffee actors for innovation from coffee co-products and by-products.
Visibility to our partners and collaborators.
Be part of the Festival
Slow Food Uganda’s Terra Madre communities and supporters from all over the country, our partners, collaborators and companies in line with our philosophy will have their say and can take part in this festival. This is the only way we can continue to be an influencers and a source of solutions.
Please stay in touch to find out more updates about the festival and about how you can actively participate.
[i] COFFEE QUALITY ASSURANCE (CQA) Ltd, represented by Mr. Bocana Tonny Ocana, is a private limited company engaged in coffee value chain management, contracting and consulting. Slow Food Uganda is pleased to partner with CQA for all our coffee activities because of CQA’s high expertise in coffee value addition and because we share the same belief that the various special coffee varieties of Uganda are the key to ensuring sustainable livelihoods to rural smallholder farming communities.