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New coffee marketing company promises to end farmers woes

By Victor Nzuma | August 20th 2021

Roasted coffee. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

A new company to market and sell small farmers' coffee in Eastern Kenya has been formed.

The company opens a new chapter for the coffee farmers from the region of directly selling their coffee, unlike in the past when they used to rely on brokers.

Steven Wambua, the chair of United Eastern Kenya Coffee Marketing Company, said operations will start by September 7, this year.

Wambua, who was briefing his newly constituted board of seven members after his election, however, said the only pending thing was a brokerage code from the Nairobi Coffee Exchange which he said were aggressively pursuing.

The new move was as a result of the coffee farmers through their umbrella body Machakos Cooperative Union which applied and was given a licence by the government to sell their coffee directly.

He said their company would market and sell their coffee locally and internationally, so as to fetch more earnings for the farmers.

"The new company will also create job opportunities apart from reduced transport and milling costs which will be a big achievement for coffee farmers," said Wambua.

The special meeting approved the company's share capital of Sh50 millon. On giving an analysis on how the company shareholding would benefit stakeholders, the chair revealed that 65 per cent would go to cooperative societies, 20 per cent to corporates, and 15 per cent to individuals.

He said the new plan would ensure coffee farmers get their dues early and efficiently than it used to happen.

He said the company's shareholding was open to both small-scale and private planters from within the region and outside.

He told farmers to take their coffee to the mill fully owned by them.  

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