More cooperatives release their coffee to Nairobi auction

Nairobi Coffee Exchange Chairman Peter Gikonyo (right) and acting CEO Lisper Ndung'u speak on the implementation of the coffee reforms. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

More cooperative societies have released their coffee to the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), with 11,432 bags of coffee registered for auction today.

This is the highest number of bags received from brokerage firms since the new regulations were implemented on August 15, according to the NCE management.

The coffee came from 549 cooperatives and estates sourced by six marketers licensed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

The auctioned coffee includes 612 bags of AA, 164 PB bags, and 3,931 AB bags categorised as clean coffee.

In a communique to the marketers and buyers, NCE noted that the produce weighs 703,516 kilograms (kgs) presented by six brokerage firms.

New Kenya Planters Cooperatives Union (NKPCU) registered 4,717 bags from 200 cooperative societies and estates.

The Auction Chairperson Peter Gikonyo expressed optimism, noting that the platform is seeing more coffee being released. “We expect more produce this crop year owing to the government backing,” said Gikonyo.

Kiambu Coffee Marketing presented 1,666 bags from 51 cooperatives and estates, while the privately owned Alliance Berries Ltd had 2,096 bags from 92 estates and cooperatives.

The increase in coffee production comes as coffee farmers expressed concern that locking out millers from marketing the commodity has impacted the market negatively, with best buyers migrating to other producing nations.

Peter Kamoro, an expert in coffee marketing, said that Kenya has lost some international buyers who have relocated to Congo and Columbia to blend their coffee for export.

“The regulations were imposed to streamline the sector but have driven away some investors. That’s why only 25 per cent of the buyers are participating in the auction,” said Kamoro.

Ngutu Coffee Factory in Murang’a County, which had withheld more than 60,000 kgs is now marketing its produce through Alliance Berries Ltd.

Ngutu chairperson Evanson Mucheke said they anticipate better payment from the market. “We had to comply with the law and stop withholding the coffee. That’s why we have taken a section to the auction,” said Mr Mucheke.

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