Kenya, in need of collective actionCoffee production in Kenya has declined in recent years, due to a multitude of complex factors. To address these issues, the Africa Fine Coffee Association (AFCA), UTZ and Solidaridad East and Central Africa held consultations and support the forming of the collaborative platform. The Global Coffee Platform, AFA Coffee Directorate and Commodities Fund were also incorporated into the technical committee and proposed the composition of an all-inclusive steering committee with the mandate of overseeing the implementation of the platform work plan. In 2017, during the Global Coffee Sustainability Conference in Geneva, the Global Coffee Platform and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (giz) signed an agreement to support the developing of the Coffee Platform, setting a precedent of international collaboration for the sake of Kenyan farmers. The €400,000 grant conceded by the BMZ, through the giz, accelerated the process of the Platform constitution.
About Sauti ya Kahawa‘Sauti ya Kahawa’ – ‘Sound of Coffee’ in Swahili – is the name chosen for the Platform seeking to increase sustainable productivity by bringing together all the major links of the coffee supply chain to discuss and implement initiatives effectively. The Kenya Coffee platform was formed in 2017 as a result of a coffee stakeholders meeting during the World Coffee Conference in Addis Ababa in 2016, where Kenyan stakeholders talked about the need to work together to tackle issues affecting Kenyan coffee. The Kenya Coffee Platform is modeled along similar successful ones in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Tanzania. The Platform is therefore envisaged to serve as an inclusive, participatory forum that will facilitate the alignment of efforts so that they are all targeted at reaching the country’s goal of increasing productivity and quality to achieve ultimately enjoyable livelihoods for the coffee farmer. As the slogan reads Quality Coffee, Good livelihood “kahawa bora Maisha poa”. Receiving more than 20% of Kenyan coffee exports, Germany is the largest export destination for Kenyan coffee, followed by the United States (17%), Belgium (10%) and Sweden (8%) The potential effect on poverty reduction is particularly high given the predominance of smallholder farmers in coffee production and a high potential for on-farm yield and income increases. Coffee production has drastically reduced by more than 50% in the last two decades. Kenyan export earnings from coffee have declined from US$500 million in the 1990s to less than US$ 150 million in 2015.