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UK store grows demand for Kenyan products

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14  – The United Kingdom-based retail chain Sainsbury\’s says trade between Kenya and the UK especially in areas such as tea and coffee is set to rise.

Director of Sainsbury\’s Brand, Judith Batchelar said in accordance with the retail outlet\’s five year growth plan, its\’ demand for Kenyan produce is expected to go up by at least 30 percent.

"We will be adding, in the UK, 1.5 million square feet of selling space every year, so that\’s 30 percent more coffee, 30 percent more tea, 30 percent more green beans, 30 percent more fair trade roses. So we have to work hard to make sure that not only do we fulfil that growth potential, but we actually over deliver," Ms Batchelar said.

British High Commissioner Rob Macaire says the British government would like to see more small scale farmers producing for the export market.

"We would very much like to see more small producers producing for export as that contributes to stability of the country and contributes to lifting people out of poverty. There are already a lot of small growers who are producing in some sectors and are benefiting from the export market. But, there are still plenty more opportunities for others to do that." Mr Macaire said.

They were speaking during a series of talks being held this week to encourage closer relations between the two countries.

The talks are the second time Sainsbury\’s has brought a large number of producers together in Africa, who collectively supply over Sh41.6 billion of fresh produce for the supermarket every year.

The "Fit for the Future" conference will explore some of the key social, environmental and economic issue facing the supply chain, such as balancing future supply and demand sustainability, bio- diversity, crop developments and water availability.

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