Dancan Kiambiar
Maingi Mugambi
Meru County
Nairobi Coffee Exchange
Stefano Scanferla
The Meru County Coffee Millers Co-operative Union
Trade and Cooperatives

Meru seeks direct coffee sale deal with Italy’s Illycaffe SPA

Meru County is wooing an Italian coffee buyer as it seeks direct exports for its annual production of over 1,000 tonnes in a move expected to boost farmers’ earnings. The Meru County Coffee Millers Co-operative Union (MCCMCU) produced 1,600 tonnes of beans last year, earning Sh800 million, which was sold at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, said executive officer Dancan Kiambiar. On average, farmers earned Sh45 per kilo although the highest paid farmer went home with Sh75 a kilo, he said.Growers are likely to earn more if a direct sales deal with Italy based Illycaffe SPA sails through. The outlet’s senior coffee buyer Stefano Scanferla was in Meru on Monday where he sampled various grades at the miller.“By selling our coffee directly to the roaster we will eliminate the middleman, we expect our beans will fetch double the amount we get from the coffee exchange,” Mr Kiambia said.He said that this year’s main crop, harvested between April and October, was likely to be sold to Illycaffe with farmers expected to earn a boom in December. Maingi Mugambi, the executive in charge of Tourism, Trade and Cooperatives, said the county government will also provide farm inputs to improve coffee grades.“We committed to support the coffee farmer increase earnings and this is a major milestone. Indications are that Illycaffe’s demand is more than our miller’s production and our major task is to seek ways to increase production.”

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