- LIVE TV
Representatives of Nyeri farmers on Friday exported the first batch of 300 kilogrammes of processed coffee for sale in 1,200 supermarkets in Europe.
Nyeri Co-operative Union Chairman Newton Nderitu, Aguthi Farmers chairman John Muchiri and Joseph Ngunjiri oversaw the flagging off at the Athi River-based Africa Coffee Roasters (ACR) facility where they were joined by the company’ managing director Mr Poul Videbaek and Head of Production Stephen Vick.
They termed the partnership a success saying farmers would now earn 212 per cent more than they previously did when they sold their coffee via the Nairobi Coffee Auction via a licensed marketer.
Mr Videbaek said ACR, a subsidiary of a Denmark-based Consumer Co-operative Society, had invested over Sh400 million to set up the plant which now has capacity to process and export 2,000 tonnes of coffee per year.
“What we want is our consumers across Europe to enjoy their coffee knowing we are so close to the farmer that we directly pay them higher proceeds per kilogramme upon delivery unlike the traditional system where the have to wait for their coffee to be sold at the auction and wait for up to nine months,” said the MD.
Mr Nderitu said farmers have also been trained on better farm husbandry from Dutch experts, adding that payments would be made directly to farmers’ mobile phone accounts with an annual bonus planned for the end of the year.
Mr Nderitu urged the government to help promote purchase of the coffee processing equipment saying value addition would help create jobs and improve revenues paid to local investors.
With ACR, it is anticipated that coffee worth Sh2 billion will be exported in a year.
Out of the money earned, Sh100 million will be spent on operational costs and salaries for the 40 full time employees.
Mr Videbaek said their co-operative society plans to introduce a tomato paste, fruit jam and avocado processing machines in Kenya saying they have since independence strengthened their relationship with Kenyan producers and transporters.
He said ACR would engage coffee farmers to enhance planting organic coffee which is popular across Europe but hardly available in Kenya. They source the organic coffee from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia and DRC Congo.
– Daily Nation