Kenya is set to begin exporting value-added tea to Australia as part of efforts to protect its mark of origin and increase farmers ’ income.
According to a statement released by State House during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the country is encouraging agro-processing by adding value to exported agricultural products, and Australia has emerged as one of the markets of ready tea.
“The cabinet noted that as part of Kenya’s export promotion strategy, the Ministry of Agriculture will in the coming week flag off the first-ever full shipload of value-added tea destined for Australia,” read part of the statement.
This occurs at a time when Kenyan tea is doing appallingly on the market since the majority of the top two consumers in the nation, who account for more than 55% of the entire beverage, are experiencing financial difficulties that have caused them to reduce the quantities they purchase.
Kenya has always relied on a small number of markets as its primary consumers, but recently it has begun looking for new markets to diversify away from Pakistan and Egypt, the country’s two largest consumers of the Kenyan beverage.
Australia’s tea purchases increased by 20% in the 11 months leading up to November of last year, from 1,665 tonnes to 2,005 tonnes.
Concerns among the stakeholders were raised when the beverage’s price remained low in the second half of 2022 since farmers’ profits are projected to fall in the current fiscal year.
The government was compelled to impose a minimum price of $2.43 (Sh302.51) per kilogram of tea in order to protect farmers from poor profits after the price of the beverage dropped below the cost of production in 2021.