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Coffee Board of Kenya.

The foremost authority in the Kenyan coffee industry is the Coffee Board of Kenya (herein referred to as the "Board"). Coffee, in a commercial sense, was introduced to Kenya by European missionaries around the year 1900. The Board was established in 1933 under an Act of Parliament commonly known as the "Coffee Act," as contained in he laws of Kenya.

The Act states that once every three years, growers of Kenya coffee must elect three persons to represent the cooperative coffee sector, three persons to represent the plantation coffee sector, and three persons to represent marketing interests. There are provisions for government ex-officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Cooperative, Director of Coffee Research, Director of Agriculture, and Treasury departments.

The Coffee Board of Kenya is responsible for promoting the coffee industry, including conducting research, processing coffee, and licensing and controlling coffee producers, coffee transporters, millers, local roasters, auctioneers, brokers, and exporters. It also acts as a government agent regarding all matters pertaining to international agreements, made or to be made, with relation to coffee.

To address these duties, the Board regulates and maintains a centralized licensing system for planting, nurseries, wet-processing factories, dry coffee mills, commission agents, coffee dealers, brokers, and exporters. It is also responsible for the classification, grading, and marketing of all Kenya coffee, as well as for payment to growers. The Board further undertakes a centralized coffee insurance system and organizes both local and international publicity and the promotion of Kenya coffee.

The major aim of Kenya's coffee industry is to produce, process, and export a distinctly top quality product known as Kenya coffee. In so doing, the industry expects and, indeed, does receive premium prices from the world market. So it is that the Kenyan coffee grower is paid one of the highest returns (on FOB basis) in the entire coffee-producing world.

The show price of the Kenya coffee marketing system is the weekly auctions, held in Nairobi practically every Tuesday morning. This is now an ultra-modem, high technology system known as the Nairobi Coffee Exchange or NCE. Here, buyers of Kenya coffee gather to buy their requirements in competition with each other in an open and transparent manner. The highest bidder takes the coffee and must pay for it in U.S. dollars, via a banker's check, within seven days. These buyers are all private companies; the Board does not export coffee.

It is for this reason that in Kenya, coffee farmers tend to focus solely on growing coffee; processors specialize in processing, classifying, and grading coffee; auctioneers concentrate on auctioning coffee; financiers specialize in financing coffee; and agents focus on buying coffee at the Exchange and exporting the same.

The best way to learn about the members and divisions within the Kenyan coffee industry is to join one of the bi-annual Coffee Safari to Kenya programs. After attending the program, participants may opt to go on safari to see Kenya's rich wildlife, or can travel to the Kenyan coast to experience the country's tranquil locations filled with sandy beaches, whispering palms, shimmering heat, and extremely pleasant people.

Your next opportunity to travel to Kenya and see firsthand why she and her coffee are so special awaits on February 13, 1999.

For more information, please contact: Coffee Board of Kenya, 15/16 Margaret Street, London W1, UK Tel: (44) (171) 580-5287, Fax: (44) (171) 323-9064, E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Association Profile
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Nov 1, 1998
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