Kenyan coffee beans are traditionally exported for processing at various destinations. The high quality coffee is used to blend beans from other destinations. The export of coffee as a commodity does not accord it distinctiveness.
Currently, coffee is sold as a raw material for subsequent processing. Nearly 98 per cent of national production is exported. The insignificant two per cent balance is processed by roasting and packaged locally in retail packs. This is what is consumed in the domestic market.
Coffee beans are packaged in jute bags/sisal of 50kg units and exported in their raw green form. The branding initiative, launched in January 2010 by the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK), is supposed to facilitate distinctiveness in the market. This will trigger demand and impact on returns of growers.
A national logo has been developed and will be applied to coffees, which meet the minimum quality of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). The European Union funded project will facilitate the establishment of regional cupping centres, which will be part of elaborate inspection and certification protocols.
Brand development will revolutionise coffee production and enhance recognition of Kenya coffee in International markets. The logo represents the bold, distinctive, full bodied flavor of Kenya coffee. It is an embodiment of the good attributes of coffee produced in Kenya as captured by the majestic Mt. Kenya in the background, the boldness of the roasted coffee beans and the rich tapestry of Kenya, hence the tagline: So Rich, So Kenyan
CBK will be the legal custodian of the logo. Its application is limited to packages with 100 per cent Kenya coffee. Registered and licensed coffee traders can use the logos in promotional campaigns. The use of the logo will start when the phased out implementation plans are complete.