Tea Board Unveils New Rules for Transporters Amid DP Gachagua Crackdown

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on September 9, 2023
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on September 9, 2023

The Tea Board of Kenya has laid down rules all transporters and factory owners operating in the tea sectors must follow as Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua works to reform the sector.

In the new rules, all tea factories across the country must register their vehicles involved in the transportation of green leaf and must ensure that the trucks weigh above 3 tonnes.

The board also expects all vehicles to bear the green leaf stickers aalongside the names of the factories that own while complying with the Kenya Tea Industry code of practice.

According to the board, all the trucks must be designed in a manner that allows free flow of air while maintain records of green leaf collected.

Specially designed lorries to transport green leaf tea.
Specially designed lorries to transport green leaf tea.

With a special focus of protecting the farmers, the board directed that no truck should collect and transport green leaf from growers not registered with their factories. A factory shall also not receive green leaf from a transporter not registered to it.

"A tea factory shall sign a commercial green leaf transportation contract with all its commercial green leaf transporters supplying green leaf to the factory and avail valid copies of the agreements to the board," read part of the rules.

"All tea factories are required to comply with the aforesaid additional conditions in addition to their existing terms and conditions of their current licenses by October 11, 2023."

Since his ascension to the office of the DP, Gachagua has spearheaded a crackdown within the Tea, Coffee and Milk sectors with the aim of delivering better returns for farmers.

Speaking on Sunday in Othaya, Nyeri County, the DP noted that the efforts to clean up the tea sector were bearing fruit especially after recording an increase in bonuses to farmers.

He further noted that milk was performing much better and intensity had been turned to the Coffee sector which is infiltrated by cartels.

"The reforms that I was tasked to push by President William Ruto  in coffee, tea and milk, have started to bear fruit. We got a high bonus this year, which has not been witnessed earlier. We are doing well," he added. 

"For milk, we are not badly off as well. The Government will push the farm gate price to a minimum of Sh60 per litre."

Tea farmers in Kericho County on Friday July 7, 2023
Tea farmers in Kericho County on Friday, July 7, 2023