NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26- The Nyeri Hill Farm – owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri – has attained international recognition for the quality of its coffee by winning the coveted UTZ “good inside” Certification.
UTZ Certified is one of the world’s largest coffee certification programs recognising good farming practices that lead to better business and sustainably grown products that meet consumer standards for social and environmental responsibility.
The Nyeri Archbishop Most Rev Peter Kairo received the certification and described it as recognition for their efforts in ensuring sustainable agriculture, the social well-being of their staff as well as traceability.
“It’s been our cherished goal and a dream come true to access the lucrative niche speciality market,” he said.
UTZ Certified Africa Representative George Karugu Macharia who lauded the management pointed out that the certification meant that Nyeri Hill Farm’s coffee had claimed a niche in the prestigious UTZ Certified specialty market known world over by roasters and coffee drinkers for quality and sustainability assurance.
Also present were Coffee Management Services Ltd (CMS) Managing Director Kamau Kuria who added that the certification was already impacting positively on the Farm’s coffee prices at the Nairobi Coffee Auction attaining the second highest price at Auction Sale 26 at AA $439/50kg Bag ($8.78/kg).
The coffee was marketed as UTZ “good inside” thus further attracting a premium, he added.
Under the guidance of CMS Mr Kuria said, Nyeri Hill Farm applied for the UTZ Certification and was audited in April on sound agronomic and modern practices, modern workers housing, occupational health and safety of workers, modern IT and record keeping/retrieval, sound waste management and good manufacturing/processing practices.
Central Kenya Coffee Mills (CKCM) which is based in Karatina and which mills the farm’s coffee was also included in the process being audited for “Chain of Custody”.
Mr Kuria said it was encouraging that farmers who adopt sustainable farming practises, good agricultural practices at the production and processing levels are realizing good quality coffee which fetches higher prices and urged more farmers to focus on improving the quality of their coffee.
Nyeri Hill Farm which was established in the 1920s, boasts of 344 ha under coffee spread across three ridges interconnected by forests and natural vegetation corridors.
The farm is a home to over 25 institutions ranging from the vocational training, Health and Educational institutions and has a wet processing factory.