A Good African tale
An African entrepreneur struggles for recognition in rich-country markets
May 11th 2010 | From The Economist online
“IT USED to be a badge of pride that we were the only African coffee brand in British supermarkets. Now I see it as shameful,” says Andrew Rugasira, the founder of Good African. He is bemoaning the fact that other African firms—in coffee and many other lines of business—have struggled to follow the trail blazed by Good African since it was founded in 2003.
Mr Rugasira created the firm with the goal of creating a distinctly African coffee brand, by carrying out some of the value-added parts of the supply chain, such as roasting and packaging, in Africa, instead of just shipping raw coffee berries abroad to be processed—rather like Jamaica has done with its Blue Mountain coffee. Since persuading Waitrose, an upmarket British supermarket chain, to stock his coffee in 2005, Mr Rugasira has won round its rivals. Last month Sainsbury’s became the latest to place an order. Good African coffee will soon be available in America, too, though initially only online, not in shops. The firm also has ambitious plans to start marketing Good African tea and Good African chocolate.
Good African: http://www.goodafrican.com/