Sasini, One of Kenya’s Major Tea and Coffee Producers

Martin Ochien’g, Group Managing Director of Sasini, talks about the company’s competitive advantages and discusses coffee quality in Kenya.

“We like to see ourselves as the top-quality producer. But top quality is only relevant if you are able to sell it in the market and fetch the prices that you want. Our biggest advantage is that we are local. We are fully Kenyan owned. We have the Kenyan fabric entrenched in what we do. We own our own land so we are able to have the flexibility to decide what we want to do with it, what crop to grow where, and if there is need for change, we can change easily. We have about 1,500 hectares for tea and about 1,200 hectares for coffee. That gives us about 50% of our requirement in both crops. We still go out and work with out growers in extension services to help us bulk up what we need for the balance of our requirement. Having land available to grow and go into new agricultural sectors is a big plus for Sasini and helps us a great deal”, says Martin Ochien’g.

“Coffee comes in several grades. A top grade being AA, but the highest volume of coffee being sold from the Kenyan market is the AB grade which is the second grade. It has the best combination of quality and price attractiveness. As a result, that is an important part of our business. The bulk of our coffee is sold to the western market and follows what happens in the New York Commodities Exchange. That coffee is used for blending and is then packed into different brands and products by our customers. That quality has been top in Kenya ever since coffee was introduced here many decades ago. Sasini actually started as a coffee business over 60 years ago. We have endeavored to stay and retain that quality because it is very important to us that that attractiveness to the global market is maintained. We need to be a bit more versatile as an industry and as a company in looking at innovation, looking at new R&D, new cultivars, new ways of agronomy, new ways of planting especially with technology in mind that can help us to reduce our cost of production so that we can stay relevant in the global market”, he adds.

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