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Coffee Farmers Have 18 Months To Comply EU Export Regulations

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Prossy Nandudu

Ugandan coffee farmers have only 18 months to comply with newly released European Union Regulations against deforestation or the cutting down of trees to create space for coffee planting.

Under the new regulations, coffee coming from coffee farms that replaced trees or forests after December 30, 2020 will not be allowed on the European Market, because they will have broken the EU regulations.

 The New regulations termed as EUDR are aimed at reducing  global deforestation, reducing greenhouse gas emisions,minimise biodiversity loss, promote sustainable consumption and production for  coffee patterns and also reduce forest degradation.

 This came into force on 5th December 2022, when the EU Parliament approved the regulations for deforestation-free products entering EU markets.

Although the regulations came into force on the June 29, 2023, they will be applied starting on the December 30, 2024. That means Ugandan coffee farmers have only 18 months to get ready and comply.

The message was delivered to coffee stake holders including exporters, cooperatives, farmer groups, policy makers, farmers by Gerald Kyalo Director Development Services at the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) on Thursday at Mestil Hotel in Kampala.

 “Compliance is very critical for because 60% of our coffee ends up in the EU market, it means we must find ways to become compliant or else we face consequences. And this will affect the farmers, exporters, traders, and government because we earn foreign income from coffee,” Kyalo said.

To ensure compliance, UCDA has developed a comprehensive action plan for the EUDR which includes engaging the EU, seeking technical and financial support. A task force chaired by UCDA has been instituted to further guide on compliance, Kyalo said.

He added UCDA, JED and VERITAS have already signed a memorandum of collaboration to ensure that compliance at territorial level is achieved for the start.

“Under the arrangement, JED and VERITAS have initiated a process of identifying non-compliant coffee plots in the next months. This means we shall be able to at least access information that will show us non-compliant zones and the owners of those zones. Such information will guide us in finding a solution,” he added.

What it takes to export under the new regulations

According to Robert .. the UCDA extension manager exporters will be required to given a detailed land-use map to confirm deforestation-free production after 31st December 2020; compliance with local legislation in production; and a due diligence statement covering the entire coffee supply chain indicating no more than a negiligible risk of non compliance.

To ensure due diligence, the operator or exporter is expected to collect detailed information of production, geo-localisation, carry out a risk assessment mitigate risks through capacity building of value chain actors, present a Due Diligence statement for each batch of coffee placed on the EU market.

To support Ugandans on the coffee journey, Abi Development Chief Executive officer Moses Nyabila  the next finve years 60% of our support will got coffee. Our bsiinss is to support economic developme that transforms loifes in rural communities . importantly support through businesses

Abi will mobilise resource to sensitise farmers, we need to protect eh forestsm any thing that ,also livesligoods, the ceoffee support aboit 1,8 million families so we believe that to respond to this crisis.

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