DP Gachagua, Java CEO Kathleen Claes agree to export 10,000 coffee bags from Kenyan farmers

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Ms Kathleen Claes, the Chief Executive Officer of Java. [Source: Rigathi Gachagua, Twitter]

It is a sigh of relief for coffee farmers across the country after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua brokered a deal that allows for export of 10, 000 bags of coffee.

The produce will be exported to one of the world’s largest coffee firms, The Java Coffee Company.

The agreement was reached in Rotselaar, during the DP’s trip to Belgium, in a meeting between Gachagua, Ms Kathleen Claes, the Chief Executive Officer of Java, who was accompanied by Mr Wim Claes, President of the Belgium Coffee Roasters Association.

In a Joint Commitment deal, the Java Coffee Company pledged to purchase Kenyan coffee directly from the local farmers, in a move aimed at helping small-scale farmers increase their incomes.

"Java Coffee Company, a distinguished entity in the global coffee trade commits to purchase Kenya. coffee directly from local farmers. This commitment entails the acquisition of at least 10,000 bags of coffee, totalling 700 tonnes, of premium Kenyan coffee. Our primary focus rests on supporting Kenyan women farmers and cooperatives, recognizing their invaluable contributions to the global coffee landscape," a section of the commitment deal reads.

This is seen as part of the Deputy President’s plan to revive and reform the coffee sub-sector.

The global company, renowned for its commitment to quality coffee, has also undertaken to procure a substantial volume of coffee production, focusing primarily on supporting Kenyan women farmers and cooperatives.

The agreement was solidified ahead of the Coffee Stakeholders Roundtable between Kenya and Belgium coffee roasters, hosted at the esteemed Java Coffee Company.

This significant step fosters international cooperation and champions Kenyan coffee farmers' prosperity, marking a momentous stride in the global coffee industry.

In his remarks, the Deputy President said Kenya has some of the world's finest speciality coffees and the government is expanding the market and eliminating middlemen and brokers for the benefit of the small-scale cherry farmers.

"This is as per the reforms we have been implementing in the coffee subsector, hence the importance of this visit. As we aim to raise production from the current 51,000 Metric Tonnes to 260,000 Metric Tonnes in five years, we look forward to bringing our produce closer to the market and the consumer. In the long term, we want a share in the value-added product, which will deliver more money to our farmer, besides strengthening our economy," he stated.

Since Belgium is one of the main points of entry and trade hubs for coffee in Europe, Mr Gachagua said there was also growing demand for certified coffees, triggered by a consumer trend towards sustainable, traceable and high-quality products.

The development comes at a time when the government is trying to increase coffee production, which once accounted for up to 40 per cent of forex earnings in the country.

"The speciality coffee market in Belgium is fast growing, alongside the country's tradition for smaller coffee houses and cafés. I appreciate that Belgium is Europe's third-largest importer of green coffee after Germany and Italy and the largest re-exporter of green coffee in Europe," added the Deputy President.

He noted that Belgium is also the second largest destination of Kenyan Coffee and the gateway to most European markets through the Port of Antwerp. The port accounts for approximately 50 per cent of Europe's coffee logistics business.