Kenya launches National Coffee Platform

Global Coffee Platform has launched the first National Coffee Platform of Kenya, signifying a major step in the country’s journey towards coffee sustainability. Representing the diverse voices of the many stakeholders involved in the Kenyan coffee sector, the Platform, a locally-driven initiative, will serve as an inclusive, participatory forum to facilitate the alignment and collective action needed to achieve the national goal of doubling productivity and income of the 700,000 farmers who rely on coffee as a source of livelihood. “This is a really exciting occasion for all coffee people in Kenya. One of the biggest hurdles in transforming any sector is that preliminary step of aligning everybody behind a shared goal and agenda,” says Annette Pensel, Executive Director, Global Coffee Platform. “With the launch of Kenya’s National Coffee Platform, the GCP and its members can continue their work in connecting people, resources, and networks to collectively unleash the power of Kenya’s coffee sector.” By setting the national agenda and moving beyond fragmented project investments, the Platform will also act as the knowledge point for global partners and any other organisations willing to work with actors along the value chain, and collectively address the biggest challenges facing the Kenyan coffee sector. Among others, these challenges include low productivity, limited access to inputs, credit and extension services, climate change, and low involvement of youth and women. All of this has resulted in a decline in production levels to below 30 per cent of the country’s potential. It is for this reason the Global Coffee Platform, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) the New Rainforest Alliance/UTZ Sector Partnership Program, Solidaridad East and Central Africa (SECAEC), and the African Fine Coffees Association (AFCA) partnered together to support local stakeholders to establish a collaborative platform which drives public private dialogue and collective action on local priorities. “The launch of the Kenyan Coffee Platform is a reason to be optimistic,” says Marius Rauh, Representative of the German Embassy for the Development Cooperation in Kenya. “ Germany has been the biggest export market for Kenyan coffee for many years and I am glad that the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development funds the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) to support this promising platform.” Some of the key activities in which the GCP and its partners will support the Kenyan Platform include a study which lays out concrete solutions to key bottlenecks and sustainability challenges, the development and harmonised roll-out of a National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC), the implementation of a monitoring system to measure NSC adoption and impact, as well as strengthened institutional capacity to improve government legislation and policy. The Kenya Coffee Platform is modelled similarly to those also supported by GCP in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Uganda, Honduras, Peru, Vietnam, and Tanzania. The learnings and best practices obtained from the Kenya Platform will also be shared with these other platforms in order to enable additional cross learning, adoption, and continuous improvement.  For more information, visit The Global Coffee Sustainability Conference 2018 will take place in the heart of Brazil’s biggest coffee producing state, Belo Horizonte from 8 – 10 November, 2018. Image credit: Hyve Media

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