Spring is always one of our favourite seasons, with lots of exciting fresh crop arrivals and samples from our favourite producers and origin partners, showing off their new harvest! Among the origins with freshly arriving microlots we’re totally excited about – Kenya!
In 2015, we started the collaboration with Kenyacof, an exporter in Kenya and our new dedicated origin partner on the ground. In the first two years or our collaboration, they focused on finding outstanding coffees for 32cup through the Kenyan Coffee Exchange system. Every week, the Kenyacof quality team in the Nairobi office cups through the full catalogues of the seven marketing agents in Kenya and rates all the qualities offered. On the auctions in Nairobi on Tuesday, they bid on the lots they flagged in the cuppings in their sleek lab. If they manage to buy the lots they had in mind for us, we receive samples in our office to select which lots we want to ship over to Antwerp.
Last year, we went over to Kenyacof to cup with the team and to calibrate so the team knows which qualities to search for us. The quality team is headed by Simon, famed as the most stable cupper in Kenya. The set-up proved to work well last year, so this year we continue the collaboration with more beautiful microlots from various coffee counties.
The Slopes of 8 producer group
In this second year, we have also launched our first farmer level project in Kenya. Eight neighbor farmers in Kirinyaga were selected for this lot, based on production criteria from Wycleff, Kenyacof’s agronomist. The cherries from these eight farmers were processed at the facilities on their own land instead of at a central wet mill, where normally all production from various farmers is processed together. Also at the dry mill, the lots were kept separate. Kenyacof bought the lot directly from them, bypassing the auction. We’re promoting this collaboration strongly in Kenya, because it gives more power and control to the producers, and more money flowing back directly to the producers. In the meantime, word has spread in the region and there’s already 30 farmers who want to join in on the project
Here’s an example of the money return to a farmer from a lot bought at the auction. There are two examples: one is the return to a farmer who works for a plantation, the other is for a farmer who owns is land and is a member of a cooperative. Both examples start from a theoretical $350/50kg of green beans price paid in the auction by the exporter. Costs and prices mentioned are in dollar per 50kg, unless mentioned otherwise. The costs and deductions apply for all coffee following the traditional path to the auction through the marketing agents.
|PRICE PAID AT THE AUCTION||350||350|
|COFFEE RESEARCH FOUNDATION||2%||7||7|
|ROAD CESS-COUNTY GOVERNMENT||1%||3,5||3,5|
|MARKETING AGENT FEES ($60/MT)||3||3|
|MILLING FEES ($150/MT)||7,5||7,5|
|COOP MANAGEMENT (ONLY IF A COOP)||20%||70||N/A|
|FARMERS RETURN||$/50kg clean parchment||256||326|
|Assumption 6kg cherry=1kg clean parchment||$/kg cherry||0,85||1,09|