Kenya will soon sell its coffee directly to Starbucks, the biggest US coffee chain, if a deal is reached between President William Ruto’s administration and the multinational’s management.
Addressing a congregation at the PCEA Mihuti in Mukurweini, Nyeri County, on Sunday, the DP noted that US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman had agreed to introduce Kenyan coffee to Starbucks.
“We thank President William Ruto for his intervention. We had a meeting with American Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman and she agreed to introduce our coffee to the world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks,” Gachagua stated.
He continued, “They will be buying our coffee directly. Some of the buyers have been using our coffee to blend their products and increase the quality of coffee produced from other countries. We want to remove the middlemen and brokers from the chain.”
Photo of Deputy President speaking during the UDA women congress on October 13, 2023.
The move is aimed at removing the middleman from the international trade of premium products and enhancing farmers’ earnings through direct sales.
He added that the government’s decision to pay coffee farmers an advance of Ksh4 billion and invite global coffee dealers to directly buy Kenyan coffee are some of the moves that have neutralised cartels.
The Deputy President explained the reforms in the coffee sub-sector were facing resistance from brokers and middlemen, who have been profiting more than the farmers.
“They have been buying the produce at a low price, selling at high prices and retaining all the profits. We have been asking them to share the profits but are opposed to it. Instead, they conspired to boycott Kenyan coffee, creating an artificial crisis in an attempt to coerce the government into abandoning the reforms,” noted the deputy president.
“This time we are determined. The government has set aside Sh4 billion and there is another Sh2 billion to buy coffee. The Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives is working on modalities of how the money will reach farmers directly.”
Starbucks, which is a publicly traded company, is the biggest retailer of coffee in the US with 16,095 stores followed by Dunkin’ Donuts (9,508) and Panera Bread (2,139).
On its website, Starbucks, which says it purchases around 3 per cent of the world’s coffee, has listed Kenyan coffee among the commodities it procures to make its world renowed products.
The brands include Kenya Kangunu Clover, Iced Clover Brewed, Kenya Baragwi Whole Bean Coffee and Clover Starbucks Reserve Mount Kenya Baragwi.
Entrance to a Starbucks shop in the US.