Apply coffee licenses afresh, says Ministry

Companies dealing with coffee in Kenya have to apply again for licenses after the Ministry of Agriculture promised to cancel the current licenses during the coffee reforms conference in Meru.

In a notice, the Ministry says it “has taken note of the many players participating in the coffee value chain, the different roles they play from farm to cup and the challenges that coffee farmers face as a result of probable existing conflicts of interests among the various categories of value chain players”

The notice further states that “While it is noted that millers are licensed by the county government, brokers by the Capital Markets Authority and the buyers by the Food and Agriculture Authority (AFA) Coffee Directorate, it is regrettably noted that provisions of the Crops (Coffee) (General) Regulations, 2019 have not been adhered to in some cases by all the licensing authorities. All licenses issued by different authorities run for a period of twelve (12) months starting from 1st July to 30th June of the succeeding year. Therefore, all existing licences held by various coffee value chain players will expire on 30th June 2023”

Therefore, the CS for Agriculture Mithika Linturi directs all interested people wishing to deal in the coffee business must apply afresh for consideration by the relevant licensing authority before or on 30th June 2023. Companies found to have contravened Section 11 (1) and (4) of the Crops (Coffee) (General) Regulations, 2019 shall not be granted a licence.

Section 11 ) of the Crops (Coffee) (General) Regulations, 2019 states that

(1) A holder of a coffee buyer’s license or any other entity associated with such holder shall not be licensed as a commercial miller, broker, roaster, agent or warehouseman.

 (2) A buyer’s license shall not authorize the buyer to engage in direct sales.

 (3) The respective licensing authority may revoke any license, which is found to be held in contravention of sub-regulations (1) and (2).

(4) A holder of a commercial miller’s license or any other entity associated with such holder either in shareholding or directorship or in any other way, shall not be licensed as a broker, roaster or agent.

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