Gerald Katabazi is a Ugandan social and economic entrepreneur passionate coffee farmers in Uganda, poverty reduction initiatives through structured human capital developments and other agricultural commodities like Cocoa.
He is a Founder and Managing Director of volcano Coffee Limited a famous specialty coffee brand in Africa, leading a bold vision of using innovative platforms to build a vertically integrated value chain that brings the farmer and consumer to the forefront of humanized digital transactions. He is also a Master Roaster certified by Specialty Coffee Association of America a Coffee barista and an entrepreneur facing Omni-channel roasting division as part of the company’s main case.
Gerald discovered his love for coffee over 19 years ago while pursuing his first Coffee quality course at Uganda Coffee Development Authority
His journey in coffee began at a green coffee classification, distribution and sample roasting facility in Kampala, Uganda as a beginner. He then moved to Kampala Serena hotel as head of coffee production, where he managed an internal brewing specification department mainly at the VIP wing, served as a production manager at Bourbon Coffee SARL in Rwanda as a retailer and wholesale distribution channels head.
3 years after bourbon coffee, he returned to play a role in the socio-economic recovery in Ugandan Coffee sector this time under his own company Volcano Coffee Limited, 2014 Volcano Coffee opened its doors to the public with a mission to educate the local coffee consumers on the benefits of consuming coffee, linking green coffee to external buyers and opening the deaf school with a target of the ghetto youth that are found in the per-urban and rural areas of Uganda as recruits, an initiative that led to the coffee opening space with a strategic plan to revamp the otherwise commodity low grade Ugandan coffee sector into the specialty market destination, he learned about the need for poverty reduction mechanisms through agriculture (Uganda’s economic backbone), to reconcile a nation once divided by the atrocities of a horrific past. This elevated the concept to co-develop a mechanism to enhance transparency in the coffee supply chain utilizing mobile technology to build an end to end traceability structures and systems.
In 2015, Gerald co-founded the first Ugandan coffee roasters forum, charged with roasting business in the country, National Coffee forum that is charged with all coffee developments and the brewers’ guild among others as well as retail establishment called Volcano Coffee, becoming the first specialty coffee company in the country.
- In 2013, Voted Youngest Agri-business entrepreneur 2013 in Kigali Rwanda 1st position at Forum for Agriculture and Research in Africa (F-A-R-A) Dinner Gala.
2015, Co-Founded the Young Farmers Coalition of Uganda
- 2017-Selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow program of Young African Leaders Initiative founded by President Barack Obama administration.
- 2017-selected as a National Youth Champion at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- 2023-Gerald is in the United States of America in the state of Atlanta to open the first of its kind a coffee flagship brand that originating from Uganda/Africa
DAY 1 - 08 SEPT 2023 Afternoon | Agribusiness | Coffee Session
Session 4 | MARKET DEVELOPMENT, PARTNERSHIPS,OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, AGRO-FOOD EXPORTS AND THE POTENTIAL OF COFFEEVALUE ADDITION
Value addition in agriculture presents an opportunity to integrate the Ugandan agriculturalsector with the international food processing industry. A well-developed food processing sectorwith a higher level of processing will aid in the reduction of waste, enhance value addition,encourage crop diversification, and provide producers with a higher return.
- Where are the opportunities in agri-finance, agri-tech, mechanization, and agri-value chain.
- How can Ugandan exporters access the highly regulated UK market.
- Where are the present investment gaps to boast; commerce expansion anddiversification; sustainable/efficient cooperatives; Industrialization that isecologically sustainable and technological advancement
- Where are the opportunities in the agro-ecosystem as a continuum to extendfrom the farm to value-added processing to grocery store shelves forinternational markets.
- It is therefore key to resolve the infrastructure deficits supporting the agro-foodprocessing industry, and to improve post-harvest and marketing infrastructure
- What are the legal, regulatory, policies and other institutional frameworks tosupport the agricultural sector?
DAY 1 - 08 SEPT 2023 Afternoon | Agribusiness | Coffee Session
Coffee focused discussions:
- Should Uganda establish a market intermediary between local andinternational coffee players, such as through large-scale marketingagreements with roasters with direct customer access, such asNestle, Mondelez, Tchibo, or Starbucks, to carry Uganda's reputation incoffee sales globally?
- Will Investments in value-chain upgrades and marketing investmentsincrease and affect the premiums earned by Arabica, whereas similarinvestments for Robusta have a more limited effect? The higher thequality of Arabica produced and successfully marketed, the greaterthe margin available throughout the value chain and the easier it is forfarmers to increase their incomes.
- Less and less awareness of Uganda's Arabica quality has impacted itsprice position over time, resulting in lower revenue for the sector,lower foreign currency earnings, and lower farmer income. How canUganda's coffee industry improve its market positioning and pricing;and enhance quality management across the value chain?
- Uganda should emulate Kenya and Colombia and focus on market-based outreach and direct contracts, transforming the Ugandancoffee industry from one that pushes its coffee into the world marketand sets the prices, to one that is attracted to the world market byconsumers and traders it affect prices?
- To become an essential player in the Arabica market, should Ugandafocus its coffee development primarily on Arabica, as largeinternational consuming markets like China move towards Arabica?
- Despite being relatively unknown and underrated, Uganda's premiumcoffees meet the needs of roasters and trading companies seekingnew supplies from so-called frontier countries in Africa to meet thedemand for additional volumes and unique and original marketingstories.
- How can Uganda grow its share among Western importers, roasters,and dealers, secure better selling prices and brand names andimprove their market perception of their coffee?
- How can farmers and exporters sustain globally accepted standardsand environmental certification, and how will the new EU policy ondeforestation affect Ugandan coffee farmers in the near future?