Ugandan Embassy in German has made a fact-finding mission for commercial diplomacy opportunities in north eastern Germany on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
The Embassy team that spent time visiting a number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the area, found a lot of potential for Ugandan products, especially organic products which attract a premium price to compete favourably on the European market.
One of the German firms visited was M/s Ostsee Muhle GmbH, a family owned and run business that produces oils from 20 crops including sunflower, rapeseed(canola), poppy seed, coconut, flax, sesame and hemp. They also process the by-products like coconut and flaxseed flour.
A successful linkage already exists between Ostsee Muhle GmbH and Blessed Organic Release, a shea butter processing firm from Pader in northern Uganda. Blessed Organic Release produces shea butter,sesame oil, chia seeds, moringa leaf powder and moringa seed oil. The company has received organic certification for their products and is looking to expand to the European market particularly for shea butter, moringa and chia seeds.
The Embassy team also visited M/s Jolu Naturkosmetik, a family owned and run business that makes organic handmade skin and hair care and beauty products from shea butter and other ingredients. Jolu Naturkosmetik makes over 100 products including skin creams, body lotions, shampoo, soap, deodorants, and lipsticks. They also give classes in soap making and cosmetic production.
The Embassy promised to liaise with the Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, Uganda Export Promotion Board and other relevant authorities to address a number of challenges facing Ugandan SME producers including: standard documentation, EU sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, access to capital, acquisition of production equipment and spare parts and language barrier in doing business with European countries especially SMEs where language barrier is quite a problem for both sides. There is need for a database of suppliers from Uganda.
The north eastern Germany Association of SMEs and the regional Chamber of Commerce have offered to organise a business event in October 2017 and another in March-April 2018 to showcase Uganda in the Baltic Sea region as an investment destination and a source of high value organic products.