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Kenya Estimates Large Increase in Coffee Exports to the U.S. Following Specialty Coffee Conference

Published on April 27, 2017

From April 20-23, the Hub supported Kenyan coffee producers to exhibit at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)-Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, Washington.


Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Willy Bett, officially opened the conference, within which Kenya’s “portrait country” pavilion occupied a prime position. SCAA reports 10,000 visitors over the three days, including nearly 5,000 buyers and roasters who were making coffee sourcing decisions. The Kenya Coffee Directorate estimates that Kenya’s participation in the conference could increase Kenya coffee exports to the U.S. by as much as 25 percent. The Cabinet Secretary Bett said that he was optimistic that the opportunity to have Kenya as a portrait country in this year’s expo will play a key role in increasing coffee exports to the U.S. and globally.

The U.S is one of the leading coffee consumers in the world. Events like this provide us with the opportunity to market Kenyan Specialty Coffees,” said Cabinet Secretary Bett.

Watch our video to learn more about SCAA and why it mattered for Kenyan coffee producers.

The U.S. is already one of the top importers of Kenyan coffee, with a track record of paying more per volume than other importers, particularly for specialty coffee. 

The U.S market is very exciting for Kenyan products and its one of the biggest markets you can talk about as far as the specialty coffee is concerned, we needed to be here to sell our product and represent our country and yes we have made business deals and more importantly is about business development, we met the big and small buyers including Starbucks and we had very good discussions, " said Sasini Limited Operations Manager, Patrick Kahonge

Increasing its coffee production and expanding exports the U.S. means more jobs and better livelihoods for the smallholder farmers who predominantly grow Kenya's high-quality coffee. Kenya's Agriculture and Food Authority Coffee Directorate estimates that coffee production accounts for 30 percent of employment in the agricultural sector.