Uganda Coffee Development Authority’s laboratories have been recognized by Uganda National Bureau of Standards for competency in analysis and testing of coffee. This makes UCDA’s laboratories located at the UMA show ground in Lugogo and Coffee House the first coffee laboratories in Uganda to get recognized against an international standard for laboratory quality management system to ISO 17025:2005. The standard recognition is awarded to laboratories that have demonstrated that their management and technical operations meet the international standard requirements. The process of getting recognition involved:
- Development of the laboratory quality manual of policies
- Development of the laboratory manual for standard operating procedures
- Development and adoption of the lab quality policy
- Training and awareness of the staff on ISO 17025:2005 standard
- Realigning of the daily management and technical operations of the laboratory
- Review of the procedures for sampling and analysis of coffee samples to avoid conflict of interest
- Validation of analytical methods to ensure quality results
- Redesigning of the laboratory infrastructure to separate activities and introduction of a digital monitoring system for the laboratory operating environment (humidity & temperature)
Benefits of the ISO 17025:2005 recognition
Laboratory operations have been standardized resulting into improved accuracy of analytical results, elimination of conflict of interest and increased operational efficiency reducing the turnaround time significantly. There has also been a lot of training and awareness for staff making them more competent in performing analysis and inspection of coffee
The recognition has further assured our clients that results and services generated from our laboratory meet international standards for wider acceptance and trust of our quality certificate.
In addition to physical and sensory analysis the labs are also performing biochemical analysis on export coffees to guarantee food safety and quality. This has brought consumer confidence in Ugandan coffee especially for importing countries like Sudan and Europe that we hope will result into increased export volumes.