Kenya’s exports of unroasted coffee to China are poised to resume within the next two weeks following a breakthrough agreement on export procedures.
The announcement was made by Theophilus Mutui, managing director of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), who highlighted that all unroasted coffee exporters eyeing the Chinese market must obtain certification before initiating shipments.
This positive development comes after a hiatus of 16 months, during which China suspended the importation of unroasted coffee from Kenya in August of the previous year.
The impasse has now been resolved, with 15 companies receiving clearance from Kephis to recommence exports, marking a significant stride in revitalising the trade relationship between the two nations.
China, recognised as one of the emerging markets for Kenyan coffee, has outlined stringent requirements for unroasted coffee exporters.
The country insists on mandatory registration and the issuance of a clearance certificate for all participating exporters.
This move is aimed at ensuring quality control and adherence to international standards in the importation of Kenyan coffee.
This was revealed during the unveiling of the KEPHIS 2023-2027 strategic plan, where the agency outlined its commitment to enhancing surveillance over the cultivation and handling of export crops and seeds.
The main goal of this initiative is to bolster food safety measures and curtail interceptions in international markets, thereby fortifying Kenya’s reputation as a reliable supplier of agricultural products.
As part of its ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity of the agricultural supply chain, Kephis disclosed that warrants of arrest have been issued for several seed merchants in the counties of Nakuru and Trans Nzoia.
These merchants stand accused of selling contraband seeds, underscoring KEPHIS’s determination to root out illegal practices within the agricultural sector.
With the resumption of unroasted coffee exports to China, the Kenyan coffee industry anticipates a rejuvenation of trade ties and increased market access, marking a positive turn of events for both nations involved.
The adherence to certification processes and heightened surveillance measures outlined in the KEPHIS strategic plan reflects a commitment to ensuring the quality and safety of Kenyan agricultural products in the global marketplace.