KENYA – Coffee farmers from Kenya will soon start selling their coffee directly to Belgium-based coffee company Java after the government successfully negotiated a deal with the Rotselaar-based business.  

As part of the deal signed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, the Java Coffee Company pledged to start with the purchase of 700 tonnes of coffee; a move that will help small-scale farmers boost their incomes.

 “It is a monumental outcome of our coffee reforms, with our farmers guaranteed better returns without brokers and middlemen in the supply chain. The signing of the deal starting with the export of at least 700 tonnes of Coffee is a milestone in restoring dignity to the farmer,” he said.

 “We are grateful to Java for the opportunity to work with us in putting more money into the pocket of the farmer,” DP Gachagua added.

Earlier on, the DP had a coffee cupping experience and a tour of the Molenbergnatie Coffee warehouse where he declared intent of warehousing Kenyan coffee.

This is the latest move by the government to bypass middlemen whom it accuses of benefiting from the coffee trade while farmers who produce the coffee languish in poverty.

Earlier this month, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua stated that the government held talks with US coffee chain Starbucks Corporation for the US government-backed deal backed by American Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

 “Ambassador Meg Whitman has planned coffee buyers in America called Starbucks to meet with the President so that they can be buying our coffee directly,” he said.

Starbucks is one of the largest coffeehouse chain in the world. As of November 2022, the company had 35,711 stores in 80 countries, 15,873 of which were located in the United States

The Seattle headquartered Company offers packaged and single-serve coffees and teas, beverage-related ingredients, and ready-to-drink beverages, as well as produces and sells bottled coffee drinks and a line of ice creams.

Beyond direct coffee says, Gachagua stated that the cabinet had approved an additional KSh 4 billion (US$26.56 million) for coffee farmers.

The funds will see farmers earning Sh 80 a kilogramme of cherry from the current Sh 20 a kilogramme as an advance payment.