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Kenya to Sign Deal with Starbucks Soon

President William Ruto is currently in talks with Starbucks, America’s Largest Coffee chain. If they reach an agreement, Kenya will soon sell its coffee directly to Starbucks.

President Willliam Ruto on the left and an image of coffee seeds and a coffee cup with a logo from Starbucks. Photo/Courtesy

The Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua was addressing a congregation at the PCEA Mihuti in Mukurweni, Nyeri County. He mentioned that the 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 further mentioned that if a deal is reached between President William Ruto’s administration and the multinational’s management, they would purchase Kenyan 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,” he added.

The aim, according to the DP is to remove the middlemen and brokers from the chain process. Consequently, this would enhance the farmers’ earnings through direct sales. The middlemen facilitate the international trade of premium products.

Gachagua also noted that the cartels that participate as middlemen in the trade have been neutralized. This, according to him, has been facilitated by the government’s decision to pay coffee farmers an advance of Ksh 4 billion. In addition to that, they also invited global coffee dealers to directly buy Kenyan coffee without using middlemen in the process.

Coffee Trade

These reforms, however, have been facing resistance since they were suggested. Gachagua explained that the brokers and middlemen were the ones resisting the reforms since they stopped profiting from the trade 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.

Consequently, the government has set aside Ksh 4 billion in addition to the current Ksh 2 billion in place to buy coffee. The DP mentioned that this time, despite the threats, they are determined to erase the middlemen from the picture. He also stated that the Cabinet Secretary for Cooperatives was working on modalities of how the money would reach the farmers directly.

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Starbucks is a publicly traded company that has gained status as the biggest retailer of coffee in the United States of America. There are over 16,095 Starbucks stores opened across the region. According to its website, it purchases approximately 3 percent of the world’s coffee.

It has mentioned Kenyan coffee as part of the commodities it procures to make it a world-renowned store. The brands from which it orders include Kenya Kangunu Clover, Iced Clover Brewed, Kenya Baragwi Whole Bean Coffee, and Clover Starbucks Reserve Mount Kenya Baragwi.

Read Also: Muranga Tea Farmers Predicting High Tea Production


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