Historically, as many as 50% of Kenya’s coffee producers have worked with big estates or co-operatives at any given time. Across the country, these organisations have anywhere from 100 to 12,000 members.
However, over the past few decades, the number of co-operative members in the country has been steadily declining. This is a result of several complex issues, including low coffee prices and accusations of mismanagement.
Despite the criticism, however, it’s clear that when it works, the co-operative model has a number of benefits for producers. Co-ops can offer much needed support and training, as well as easier access to the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).
To learn more about Kenya’s co-op models and how they are changing, I spoke to two local farmers. Read on to find out what they told me.