[17th April 2009]

Japan Tea Association visited Kenya

The Japan Tea Association (JTA) constituted a delegation that visited Kenya from 23rd to 30th January, 2009. This article is an extract from the JTA report.

Delegates visited a tea factory

1. Tea Production

There are two ways of producing tea in Kenya. The first one is big plantation whereas the second is a group of small tea farms. The major producing method is CTC. JTA members found some difference of oxidization but all factories introduced similar method of production with hygienic and good quality control. This means that Kenyan tea maintains high quality in every factory. Tea factories are putting the best effort for diversifying their product lineups in not only CTC tea but also producing “Orthodox Tea” and “Green Tea”.

Almost all factories have ISO Certification such as ISO 22000. The delegates found that Kenyan tea is processed under good quality control management, hygienic and clean conditions. It is also and advantage point of Kenya tea that tea farmers use minimum pesticides and chemicals for growing.

2. Tea Products

Kenya is facing challenges to produce final products. KETEPA factory has production lines of tea bags and OEM production for Japanese market. The delegates felt Kenyan enthusiasm to export more value added tea products to Japan, not only for exporting bulk tea.

Mombasa Tea Auction

3. Tea Auction

There are two ways of tea transaction. One is direct deal from the producer to buyers, the other is Tea Auction. The Auction is based on the demand and supply; it is very fair and transparent business transaction.

4. Export Port

The delegates visited Kenya Port Authority and were taken through a presentation and then toured the port. Port is now expanding and introducing new equipments. The delegation found productive and effective shipping work at Mombasa Port.

Mombasa Port is the biggest port in
Easter Africa

5. Bond warehouses and export

The delegates visited a warehouse that has ISO 22000 certification.

6. Tea Research Foundation

The Foundation provides technical assistance for tea growing, use of pesticides and chemicals and analysis of components. The strong point of Kenyan tea is catechin rich.
The branch office next to Kangaita Tea Factory develops breed improvement. It took at least 8 years from seed to distribute nursery trees to each tea farm.

7. East Africa Tea Trade Association

EATTA was established in Nairobi in 1957. When Nairobi Tea Auction moved to Mombasa, EATTA also moved to Mombasa in 1969. The members are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

Farmers plucking tea

8. Conclusion

The delegates realized that Kenyan Tea is non pesticide, non-chemical and high quality with ISO 22000 Certification. Kenya is the biggest tea export country and the second biggest in tea production in the world.

In order to support Kenya Tea export promotion, Japan Tea Association provides various forms of support and cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya.

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