Stimulating Inclusive Growth Among Kenya’s Smallholder Coffee Farmers
New York, April 7, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Vava Coffee, a Kenya-based social enterprise, has joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to extend a credit facility complemented by financial management and sustainable agricultural practices training to 130,000 coffee farmers in the country by 2018.
Founded in 2009, Vava’s domestic and international market shares are set to increase significantly over the next five years, resulting in increased demand for coffee beans from the company’s supply chain. Without access to affordable and flexible credit facilities, the company’s smallholder suppliers will be unable to scale up their coffee bean production to meet the increased demand. The credit facility will use a revolving-fund model to enable purchase of organic inputs and agricultural services. This will ensure both sustainability and increasedyields of good-quality coffee, and enable the company – and the coffee farmers – to grow.
“The benefit for Vava will be a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality coffee, and a group of farmers whose lives will be positively impacted through better wages, access to credit and better living standards,” said Vava Angwenyi, the company’s Founder and Chief Coffaholic. “As a social enterprise, our principle aim is to contribute to the future prospects of smallholder farmers in our supply chain and the coffee industry as a whole, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for the people and communities in which we work. We are pleased to have our inclusive business recognized by the Business Call to Action.”
While coffee is Kenya’s third most valuable export, Kenya does not have a strong coffee culture. However, coffee consumption is growing year by year, especially among Kenyan trendsetters who want to be associated with the latest styles. Domestically, the company is introducing its products to specialty stores, corporations, duty-free shops, supermarkets, airlines, hotels, lodges and fair trade companies. It is also striving to establish a foothold on the export market: the company currently has shipments underway to the Netherlands, Norwegian and North American markets.
As the only fully Kenyan-owned coffee company in East Africa, Vava has positioned its blends in the higher-end price range. Since 2009, the company has achieved global recognition for its premium coffees which include medium, medium-dark anddark roast, andItalian espresso – as well as for its social impact.
Future plans call for partnering with larger financial institutions to reduce risk and expand the company’s value chain beyond Kenya’s borders. The company is also planning to offer health insurance as part of the credit facility.
“Vava Coffee’s inclusive business model offers low-income families the opportunity to earn a living and move out of poverty, which is the essence of inclusive business,” said Sahba Sobhani, BCtA’s Acting Programme Manager. “We are pleased to welcome the company to the Business Call to Action.”
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Vava Coffee: We are a group of passionate individuals and farmers working towards one goal: using coffee to empower communities. Vava Coffee is a social enterprise founded by Vava Angwenyi in 2009. Our main aim at Vava Coffee is to contribute to better future prospects for local communities and the coffee industry as a whole. We ensure sustainable livelihoods for the people and communities in which we work. Vava Coffee handpicks premium coffee beans directly from different smallholder farms around Kenya, which are then roasted in small batches. We learn about our roasts only by cupping and making the connection between the decisions that we made during the roasting process and tasting the results on the cupping table. This kind of direct contact with the coffee throughout the roasting and evaluating process connects us to the coffees that we buy in a very personal way. It takes patience, dedication, understanding and willingness to interact with coffee in this way every day. Careful monitoring and control of the entire supply chain means the highest quality is guaranteed. www.vavacoffee.org