Farmers can earn more profits by delivering coffee beans directly to a Machakos County-based Europe processor and exporter company African Coffee Roasters (ACR).
The opening of the processing factory in Athi River would alleviate the ailing coffee sector whose more than 700,000 farmers are disillusioned by the low prices due to middle men and thieves along the supply chain.
ACR will be exporting at least 2,000kg of processed coffee per year. ACR entered into a partnership with COOP Denmark – one of the biggest Danish retailers- to help sell processed coffee in Europe.
ACR Managing Director Poul Videbaek said processing and adding value to coffee in Kenya before export reduces the costs incurred before a finished product reaches the market.
“Most money is lost between the producer and the consumer. That is why ACR decided to make coffee production profitable for coffee producers by eliminating middlemen while at the same time making innovative products for our consumers,” Videbaek said during the flagging off of the first processed coffee at the Athi River factory.
Middlemen in the supply chain of coffee eat into the profits while more losses accrue from stealing of the beans from factory stores almost weekly.
“Since ACR started engaging the Othaya co-operative in 2013, the income of the farmer has increased by 212 per cent. More returns will be achieved by the shortest and most efficient coffee supply chain providing high quality shelf-ready products from Kenya to European consumers,” he said.
The director promised timely payment to farmers after deliveries.
Despite payment of about Sh27,000 to police to look after the coffee, beans worth Sh2 million were stolen from a Nyeri factory on the night of September 6, 2016.
Processing beans in Kenya also reduces the company’s costs incurred in moving unfinished coffee to Europe for further processing and value addition.
Value added products from ACR include guacamole, fruit jam, tomato paste and chocolates.
ACR is a subsidiary of COOP Denmark - the biggest Danish retailer with a market share of 39 per cent of all fast moving consumer goods and a yearly turnover of Sh708.4 billion.
PHOTO: ACR officials share light moment ahead of the flagging off of tracks carrying processed coffee for export. The company will be receiving coffee from farmers,avoiding middlemen for more profits. PHOTO COURTESY.