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  • Every pack purchased funds two meals for Ugandan children
  • Blue Turaco pays farmers 30% more than traditional routes
  • Strong, robusta flavour brings a new offering to speciality coffee consumers

With a social mission as strong as its amazing flavour, Blue Turaco’s 100% speciality

Ugandan Robusta coffee launched in 98 Co-op stores on 5 October and 142 Waitrose sites in the same week. Blue Turaco is the only coffee brand in UK retail that is owned by an African coffee farmer, and every pack purchased funds two meals for a Ugandan school child.

Transforming lives through coffee – a personal story

Growing up in Uganda, the Blue Turaco Founder Wycliffe Sande picked coffee as a young boy, and ploughed his wages into school fees. He knows the potential for this crop to transform the lives of African farming communities – coffee gave him money for food, education and crucially helped him realise his dream of improving lives in his country.

Moving to London, where he’s now based, Wycliffe didn’t leave coffee behind – instead, he used it as a catalyst for change. Wycliffe now grows coffee in Uganda, using his farms to educate smallholders on better growing practices to produce very high-quality Robusta beans. Blue Turaco is named after the birds that would chatter above his head as Wycliffe picked coffee as an 8-year-old boy in Africa.

Working closely with smallholders in Uganda, and buying directly from them, Blue Turaco pay farmers 30% more than traditional routes. And 20p from every pack sold pays for two school lunches for children in Ugandan village schools.

“Although there’s plenty of African-grown coffee on the UK’s shelves, no retail brand is owned by an African coffee farmer with a social mission like ours,” commented Wycliffe. “Our tagline of Powerful Coffee, Powerful Impact shows the community impact at the core of Blue Turaco. Our vision is to create a model where coffee truly pays in farming communities.”

Strong, robusta coffee roasted by award-winning baristas

Blue Turaco uses 100% speciality Ugandan Robusta sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Uganda. Graded and roasted by UK award-winning baristas, Robusta has a deliciously strong, yet smooth and nutty flavour. It naturally contains double the caffeine as arabica coffee.

“The coffee industry has largely focused on speciality Arabica, neglecting its cousin, Robusta, which as its name suggests, is a more hardy bean. Now, the speciality coffee market is waking up to the incredible flavours of well-grown Robusta with new roasting techniques to unlock the amazing flavours. It makes for a delicious, perfect cup of coffee.” says Wycliffe.

Co-op support programme brings Blue Turaco into stores  

Blue Turaco is now going into Co-op stores as part of the group’s accelerated support programme, ‘The Apiary’, which supports and mentors innovative and values-led smaller suppliers.

Kelly Orme, Co-op Buying Manager for Community Buying – Local, World Foods & The Apriary, said: “Seeing successful new businesses hit Co-op shelves is always an exciting and rewarding time for our Apiary programme. We have been on a fantastic journey with new suppliers throughout the year, which builds on the successful launch of our first wave of suppliers through the Apiary programme.

“We are delighted to see Blue Turaco on our shelves – we believe that the values led and innovative food and drink suppliers that we support through our Apirary programme offer a real point of difference to interest, enthuse and excite Co-op Members and customers in our communities.”

“We have been blown away by the passion and support from the Apiary team at Coop for start-up brands,” added Wycliffe. “We are proud to be part of a cohort of purpose-driven brands and excited to have this opportunity to bring Ugandan coffee to a nationwide UK market. Let’s go!”

Blue Turaco Specialty Robusta will be available at Co-op both as Whole Bean, perfect for bean-to-cup machines, and Ground, perfect for a French press or mocha from 5 October 2023. Selling price £5.49 for 227g.

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