A South Korea-based coffee company this week received a seven-container shipment of approximately 134.4 metric tons of Kenyan coffee from the Kikpelion District Cooperative Union Limited.
Exporting directly to the Good Bean Coffee company is a respite for Kenyan farmers who have long seen coffee yields decline due to price strangulation by middlemen in the sector.
This breakthrough is the result of Kenya’s participation and marketing initiatives during the Coffee Expo Seoul which took place in July 2021, where Kenya was a country of profile.
Kenya’s main focus at Coffee Expo Seoul was to establish direct coffee export links to South Korea, which is the fourth largest consumer of Kenyan coffee after Belgium, Germany and the United States. United.
The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA), the Kenya Investment Authority, the Coffee Authority, the State Department of Commerce and the Kenyan Embassy in Seoul represented farmers who were unable to attend Coffee Expo Seoul due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2021.
“The agreement signed by Good Beans Coffee Company, will enable Kenyan farmers to earn nearly USD 908,160 through the direct sale of 134.4 metric tons or the equivalent of 7 containers of coffee. About 9,582 coffee farmers will receive an average Ksh 100 per kilo, almost 3 times the current auction price of Ksh 35,” said Prof. Joseph Kieyah, Chairman of the Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms Implementation Standing Committee.
In addition, export by farmers is a milestone under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s coffee sub-sector reforms that aim to free farmers from the chains of predatory brokers.
“The coffee industry is the 11e largest industry with an annual consumption of approximately 512 cups per capita and more than 110,000 coffees. It is a lucrative industry that Kenyan farmers can benefit from in terms of diversifying the coffee market. Our focus now must be on adding value to ensure that our farmers reap more profits instead of selling coffee beans for further processing and repackaging,” added Dr. Wilfred Marube, CEO of KEPROBA.
Currently, Belgium has overthrown America as Kenya’s top export market for coffee with over Kshs 6.5 billion worth of coffee exported in the year to June 2021.
It was nearly double what it had purchased the previous year, overtaking the United States as the drink’s top buyer.
Apart from South Korea, Europe and the United States of America, Kenyan coffee has market penetration capability under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which is the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). has 55 African Union member states and has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of at least $3.4 trillion and a market of over 1.2 billion people.
Other market prospects for Kenyan coffee include trade ties created during Expo 2020 Dubai which aims to target the Gulf Cooperation Council.