Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria on Friday disclosed that he was working on a bill to improve quality of Kenyan coffee exports adding that he would even reach out to United States President Donald Trump to see it succeed.
Thorugh his social media, the vocal politicians stated that once passed, the Coffee Bill 2018 would make it illegal to export Kenyan coffee in raw beans form.
"Exporters will be expected to fully process, pack and brand Kenyan coffee before shipment and label the same with a 'Made in Kenya' mark," he explained.
[caption caption="Gatundu South Mp Moses Kuria"][/caption]
The bill, however, raised concern considering that the international market was highly unpredictable and the tariff wars that the move would ignite.
A user, Alex Gatundu stated: "I once asked a cabinet minister in Kibaki's govt why Kenya doesn't add value to its coffee before export eg by roasting and packaging. He told me that coffee barons internationally have ensured that our coffee enjoys zero tariffs upon export but if we add value they will slap our value-added coffee with hefty tariffs that it will lack a market.
"The late Nyeri Governor tried to bypass these coffee barons by trying to export Nyeri coffee directly to US. He came face to face with their raw power. He never succeeded. How are you going to deal with this tariff war ahead?" he posed.
Moses Kuria responded by stating that it was time for the Kenyan coffee farmers to get value for the product and he would approach Trump to make schemes by the coffee cartels illegal.
"I would not want to see our coffee rot in our stores because of lack of market. Simply because it was ground, roasted, nicely packed and labelled "Made in Kenya". That be our only crime? I will personally ask Trump to confirm that it is a crime," the Jubilee MP stated.
According to the Coffee Directorate, the US was in the previous financial year (2016/2017) the highest importer of Kenyan coffee in terms of price per kilogram and the number of bags bought.
The US overtook Germany and Belgium as the main country Kenya exports it coffee to by purchasing Ksh7 Billion worth of the product - a 75 percent rise from the 2015/2016.
[caption caption="File image of a coffee farmer"][/caption]
Earlier in January, three Kenyan factories were ranked among the world’s best specialty coffee producers for 2017 in the Coffee Review’s list of Top 30 producers in the world.
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