Stakeholders seek delay in coffee rules

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A farmer picking ripe coffee beans. Photo credit: Daily nation

New coffee regulations will not be operational this year following a request by those who pleaded to be given one year to prepare for the change.

According to the chairman of Coffee Sub-Sector Implementation Committee (CSIC) Joseph Kieyah, players who include millers, marketers and exporters as well as the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which manages the coffee central auction said they could not immediately comply with the rules.

In the Coffee (General) Regulations, 2018 draft, companies trading in coffee cannot hold multiple trading licences, which has been the case.

Sibling firms have been securing trading licences using different names. So, when they converge at the central auction where most of the country’s coffee is sold, they dictate prices.

Already, the Coffee Directorate, which is the industry’s regulator, has issued trading licensing to the same players who have been manipulating coffee prices at the central auction using the old rules developed in 2002.

Nairobi Coffee Exchange, which manages the central auction is also to be restructured as proposed in the new rules the National Task Force in Coffee Subsector Reforms developed.