By Emmah Bwayo
The Bugisu Cooperative Union Ltd is a Ugandan agricultural cooperative federation, established in July 1954. It was started by a group of coffee farmers. Apparently, the only surviving and active coffee Cooperative Union in Uganda
BCU is owned by coffee farmers who are organised in 250 primary societies across the Bugisu sub region in eastern Uganda.
Each primary society keeps a register of its fully paid-up members who elect a committee, which manages society’s affairs. Each primary society is represented by two delegates at an Annual General Meeting. In addition to other functions, the AGM elects board members, who in turn appoint and supervise the management team.
Arabica coffee is grown on small gardens owned by individual farmers . This coffee is mostly organically grown.
The high altitude coffee grown under the volcano soils with farmers practicing good farming methods. BCU sources the best beans from farmers who are rewarded by the best premium farm gate prices in the whole world.
Bugisu Co-operative Union Limited-BCU has a total storage capacity of 4 million kilo grams with all the alternative storage facilities with the factory.
Currently, BCU has 1,941, 094 Kilo grams of coffee in store*
The union has 32 silos full of parchment coffee, with each carrying close to 16,934 KGs of coffee totaling to 523096 Kgs
Alternative Storage facilities currently have 1, 941, 094 KGs.
NB: Silos are the traditional storage facilities for the union.
Other alternative storage facilities include;
-Buying floor and three warehouses for the union.
COFFEE PROCESSING PLANT
The Union has the best coffee processing plant in the world. It was installed with the production capacity of 5 tones per hour.
In a double shift, the plant can produce 80tones per day on a normal working day.
The plant is also environmentally friendly with a special system that collects dust and controls noise.
Bugisu Cooperative Union Ltd can employ up to 500 direct staff and close to 1000 indirectly.
Indirect staff includes casual laborers, transporters, food vendors, and field extension staff, among others.
BCU produces the best Arabic coffee on the market named Elgon Pride. It’s produced in four sizes, 10g, 50g, and 100g and 250g.
The union also produces roasted coffee beans in different sizes.