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Kenya bets on origin mark to boost coffee sales

Wednesday January 14 2015

Agriculture Cabinet SecretaryAgriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei last week said Kenya had initiated talks with the European Union seeking ways of compensating the fresh produce exporters. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP Felix Koskei addresses the press during a past briefing.  FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei last week said Kenya had initiated talks with the European Union seeking ways of compensating the fresh produce exporters. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

NATION CORRESPONDENT
By NATION CORRESPONDENT
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Kenya is set to launch a mark of origin for its coffee in a bid to diversify international markets.

The country’s coffee is premium and is much sought after by international dealers for blending other lower quality varieties. This, however, is not acknowledged, leading to the loss of origin of the local beverage.

Speaking yesterday at a preparatory meeting for the launch at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei said the move was intended to increase visibility of local coffee in the domestic and international markets.

“The use of national mark of origin is another measure geared at improving visibility of Kenyan coffee in the domestic and international market,” Mr Koskei said.

Interim head of coffee directorate Grenville Melli said the mark is registered by Kenya Intellectual Property Institute and listing by World International Property Organisation is being considered.

So far, four companies have met the requirements to use the mark. They are C. Dormans, Kenya Nut Company, Kimanthi University of Technology and Super Gibs Ltd.

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The destination of local coffee is dominated by six countries, putting the sector in a perilous situation should there be a shock in those markets.