New coffee brokers in beans duel
Newly licensed coffee traders are set to spur competition for coffee beans as they eye the same farmers selling coffee to existing marketing agents.
The National Coffee Cooperative Union (NACCU) - an umbrella body representing all the coffee co-operative unions – says this is good for the industry since it is expected to deepen competition and thus benefit farmers.
According to NACCU chairman Francis Ngone, the new coffee brokerage firms are reaching out to farmers within their jurisdictions as part of their initial preparation to build up stocks before starting trading at National Coffee Exchange (NCE).
“We have coffee cooperative societies within our jurisdiction but are currently delivering coffee to other players. We are reaching out to them so that by the time we start trading at NCE we will have adequate stocks,” said Ngone after opening the capacity-building workshop.
Following the enactment of the Crops (Coffee) (General) Regulations 2019 and the Capital Markets (Coffee exchange) Regulations 2020 few years back 11 coffee brokerage firms had been licensed to trade at NCE.
Coffee Sub-Sector Reforms Implementation Standing Committee (CSRISC) chairman Joseph Kieyah said that the coffee reform agenda is taking shape despite resistant from some players in the marketing arena.
“Farmers stand to benefit a lot in terms of receiving their payment directly after any sale of the commodity at NCE. The exclusion of intermediaries under the current regime is agreed to ensure small scale farmers enjoy their hard earned sweat,” said Prof Kieyah.
Early this year CMA licensed four new coffee brokers, -Kinya coffee marketing agency Limited, Kiambu Coffee Marketing Company Limited, Bungoma Union Marketing Agency Limited and Meru South Coffee Marketing Company Limited.
This was in addition to six other coffee brokers holding valid licenses that had been licensed in June 2021.