Rockbern Coffee is set to be the first local processing plant to acquire the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000) in November, cementing their repute in the coffee ecosystem.
The company has invested 3 million US dollars in a new roasting facility in Ruiru that includes a state of the art coffee roasting machines and a Barista academy which will be unveiled in a week’s time. The facility has been built in strict adherence to the demanding FSSC22000 food safety standards that will open doors to global market. The certification will be completed by end of November 2016, making it the first coffee company in the region to achieve this standard.
Speaking during a coffee tasting session to celebrate International Coffee day, Rockbern Coffee Group Managing Director Peter Muchiri noted that Kenyan coffee is the best in the world, and therefore sought to meet both local and international demand for quality coffee.
“Over and above setting up a coffee shop for the retail market, the processing plant will enable us meet the demand from other parts of the world. We strive to sell the soul in our coffee and maintain our global status as a world leader in coffee production. The youth also benefit from employment opportunities as qualified baristas,” said Peter.
FSSC 22000 is a supreme vote of confidence in the world of food safety for companies in export business. The certification affirms the company’s best practice in excellent food safety management system that meets the needs of both the consumers and customers globally. The certification is way of opening doors for export anywhere in the world.
Rockbern Coffee exports five scintillating blends which are Mt. Kenya Suprema, a full body, honey, musky chocolate with hints of floral aromatics, ideal for filter brew, Mt. Kenya AA, Mt. Kenya House Coffee which is a full body, fruity winey, sweet lime, hint of savoury herbs, ideal for filter brew, Mt. Kenya Espresso and Mt. Kenya Gourmet which is Medium body, bold and winey, fruity berries hint of blackcurrant, ideal for filter brew or French press. The company faces stiff competition from established global brands, but Peter is determined to leverage the youth to build the profile of the country’s coffee.
“There is growing demand for coffee especially from the Middle East, and as renowned exporter of coffee, having the certification ascertains our credibility to offer quality coffee. The coffee culture in Kenya is picking up with more youth interested in enjoying the beverage. This has led to the growth of coffee shops by both local and foreign companies, which means there is a demand for great tasting coffee,” he said.
To invest in the community, Rockbern Coffee has an initiative dubbed ‘Coffee and books’ which seeks to inculcate a reading culture at elementary level of education.
“We are going around the country stocking libraries with books, in hopes of growing young children to appreciate reading books,” said Peter.