In recent years, the coffee market has seen a dramatic shift towards speciality coffee, with growing interest from consumers in coffee origin, traceability and ethical labels. This trend looks set to continue, as demand for quality coffee from Africa increasingly outstrips supply. Despite this enormous potential, many African producers cannot access these added-value markets due to difficulties in meeting quality requirements and customer service expectations.
Joint Marketing Initiative (JMI)
The JMI is a collective of East African coffee cooperatives working in partnership with Twin to make origins from the region synonymous with quality. Producer organisations capable of producing premium-grade coffee can apply to join the JMI to receive support in building long-term trading relationships and in marketing coffee. By building the profile and reputation of producer organisations, the JMI sets out to give new quality origins greater visibility and security within the value chain.
The JMI provides a number of key marketing and business services which enable producer organisations to access speciality coffee markets, negotiate contracts, offer differentiated products, improve services and grow and manage trading relationships.
The JMI offers specialist training, mentoring and ongoing helpdesk support from industry experts on:
- operational priorities and end of season reviews/pre-season planning
- market analysis, weekly market reports and marketing/sales strategies
- contract negotiation, price risk management and price fixation
- relationship building, attending trade fairs and conducting buyer visits
- responding to buyer feedback, communications and brand development
The JMI collective
In addition to marketing services, producer organisations report significant benefits from collaborating with other JMI member. Through the network, they are able to work together on specific projects and share best practice via technical exchanges and inter-cooperative mentoring. The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for members to come together as a whole and share in strategic decision-making for the JMI.