LONDON, UK – The International Coffee Organization (ICO) yesterday (February 22nd, 2022) issued a communiqué clarifying the statements from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) on Uganda’s withdrawal from the International Coffee Agreement 2007.
The communiqué reads as follows:
On 2 February 2022 the International Coffee Organization (ICO) announced the withdrawal of Uganda from the International Coffee Agreement 2007 (ICA 2007), as per the Depositary Notification DN-144/22/ICA 2007.
In September 2021, the ICO received a notification from the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), on behalf of the Government of Uganda, of the decision to not participate in the extension of the ICA 2007, effectively ending the participation of Uganda in the ICO as of 1 February 2022.
The extension of the ICA 2007 has been approved by all ICO members except Uganda. As of 2 February 2022, the exporting members of the ICO still represent 93% of world coffee production and 64% of consumption. Since receiving the notification from the UCDA, the ICO and the Chair of the International Coffee Council (ICC) have made several attempts to engage with Ugandan authorities, including President Museveni, without any response or receiving the reason for the decision of the UCDA.
Only on 9 February, the UCDA issued a public statement putting forward seven reasons for not agreeing with the extension of the ICA 2007. The note attached herewith provides a clear response and explanation on the issues identified by the UCDA, showing that the Ugandan authorities had abundant opportunities but decided not to address these issues within the established negotiation and decision-making mechanisms of the ICA 2007 and the ICO.
In March 2019, the ICC, the highest decision-making body in the Organization, established a Working Group on the Future of the International Coffee Agreement (WGFA) to update and reform the current Agreement. Participation in the WGFA is open to all ICO Members. Nevertheless, Ugandan representatives have not been actively participating in this process and have never submitted any proposal for change based on their vision and interest, nor on the issues raised in the UCDA statement of 9 February.
The reform process of the International Coffee Agreement is progressing successfully and the new ICA is expected to become even more relevant in supporting the sustainable development of the coffee sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including the integration of the private sector.