Embu, Meru coffee co-operatives oppose regulatory changes


Embu, Meru coffee co-operatives oppose regulatory changes
A worker sorts coffee berries at a factory in Kienjege, located in western Kirinyaga county, northwest of Kenya's capital Nairobi, July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

The implementation of proposed coffee regulations have become the major cause of uncertainty in the sector, as Meru and Embu cooperatives leaders cause a stalemate over draft regulations.

Of the four issues raised stakeholders feel the regulations set do not take concerns raised by coffee farmers.

“As coffee co-operatives leaders from Embu county ,we fear that the proposed changes will destabilize our cooperative societies to the detriment of the local economy .for the avoidance of doubt ,and without equivocation, we hereby make our collective stand on the #coffee regulations well known,” said chairmen of Embu county coffee co-operatives.

The officials said the proposed changes like central depository unit and allowing country governments to mobilize growers for coffee marketing will not only hurt the coffee industry but also open the sector to cartels.

In a notice in the dailies the leaders have opposed the recommendation to establish a central depository unit saying this move will cut off cooperatives from managing farmer’s finances.

“This regulation undermines the mandate and authority of society committees as provided in the cooperative societies act. Nobody wants government bureaucracy in the management of our co-operative finances. Knowing the annual value of Kenya’s coffee the CDU would be a multi billion institution with good windfall. We cannot therefore rule out subterranean pressure as people angle for big jobs,” they added.

Among other issues raised were permitting alternative groups to operate cherry activities and establishing coffee pricing committee.

The officials have also asked the president to disband the implementation committee for failure to engage the stakeholders on issues pertaining coffee sector in the country.

“With the foregoing, we stand with the Kenya farmers association and support their sentiments and appoint a fresh team that is willing to engage the bona-fide coffee stakeholder to find a lasting solution to coffee woes in Kenya,” they said.

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Story By Sophie Kinoti
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