KENYA – Kericho Gold, a premium tea brand owned by Gold Crown Beverages, a subsidiary of Global Tea & Commodities Ltd has received US$4 million funding in loan from IFC meant to fund its expansion strategy in Kenya and Malawi, reported the Exchange.

A statement from IFC said that Global Tea & Commodities Ltd, a London based commodity exporter plans to increase its packaging capacity at its factory in Kenya.

Additionally, the funding will be helpful in directly sourcing additional 5,000 metric tonnes of tea from farmers and local factories and via the tea auction in Mombasa, Kenya.

According to the Exchange, IFC is also considering another $4 million financing for benefit local farmers in Malawi by boosting production and exports of fair-trade certified macadamia and coffee.

In Malawi, Global Tea is looking to expand its operations in the country including planting more macadamia trees, replanting existing coffee plantations and development of coffee out-grower program to support 3,300 smallholder farmers.

To achieve energy efficiencies and reduce its carbon footprint, the company plans to explore climate smart and renewable energy solutions at its plantations to reduce water consumption and help offset diesel fuel with solar power.

As a result, IFC will support it with advisory services on renewable energy and smallholder coffee programmes.

“Our partnership with IFC will help Global Tea expand the production of single-origin macadamia and coffee, creating more than 900 jobs for farmers who supply to the group.

We chose to work with IFC as it takes a long-term view of our partnership and adds value beyond financing, in areas like corporate governance, environmental and social standards,” said Nadeem Ahmed, the founder and chairman of Global Tea.

Commenting on the matter, Mary Jean Moyo, IFC’s Regional Head of Industry for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services said, “By investing in companies like Global Tea, IFC supports African branded products and supports livelihoods for local farmers.

We are advising Global Tea on climate smart and environment-friendly agricultural practices, which should boost sustainable production of commodities in Malawi.”

Global Tea, which claims to be the leading coffee and macadamia producer in Malawi exports macadamia nuts to the Netherlands, Japan and other coffee buyers including Starbucks.

In Kenya, the group packages the popular Baraka Chai and Kericho Gold tea brands and exports to other markets in Africa, Asia, Australia, European Union, Middle East, SA, UK and the US.