Kenya is now a leader in high quality coffee and the use of the auction system, thanks to a partnership with CQI and other local and international organizations. They also have strong direct trade mechanisms which provide access to their unique high acidity coffee.
From 2005 to 2007, CQI was extensively active in Kenya through GDA, EAFCA and RATES, which included cupping, barista training, coffee brewing, and marketing training all through the Coffee Corps program. Subsequently, through a grant from IFC in 2007, CQI was able to train and certify 18 Q Graders and provide some Q System training. After initial struggles working with the Kenya Coffee Board, a collaborative agreement was signed with KCTA and initial In Country Partner training has been started, with the Kenya coffee industry covering the majority of local costs and coordination.
Kenya is also very advanced in the area of local consumption and barista training. They hold annual national barista championships using local Kenyan Judges. Kenya's barista trainers and judges will be able to be used as trainers for other East African countries and they are at a point where the Q System and cupping training needs to be moved out to the producer level.
Aside from all of the collaborative work with EAFCA, RATES and IFC, there has always been a clear communication with CQI and the Kenya coffee industry who also certifies several Q lots annually. Real estate costs and high costs in general are causing Kenya coffee production to decline so that producer's only option is to have high quality. Luckily coffee traders in Kenya are very sophisticated and understand the specialty market.