Kenyan coffee arrives at SIGEP in Rimini thanks to AICS and ICE

Rimini, 22 January 2024 – The 45th edition of the International Ice Cream, Pastry, Artisan Bakery and Coffee Exhibition (SIGEP) has begun at the Rimini exhibition centre. Thanks to the collaboration between the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and Italian Trade Office (ITA/ICE) offices in Nairobi, a representation of six coffee cooperatives, part of the entrusted initiative "Revamping the Gourmet Coffee Production in Kenya" (AID 11767), is present at the fair, to promote coffee Kenyan on foreign markets and foster connections between coffee growers' cooperatives and buyers. Yesterday, the members of the cooperatives have already paid a visit to an Italian roaster, to understand better the technologies used, the required standards and the operating methods of the Italian roasters.

During the days of the exhibition, there will be a broad vision of the role of the Agency and, in particular, of the intervention carried out in the coffee sector in Kenya. In fact, coffee tastings from the cooperatives participating in the initiative and B2B moments with potential interested parties and buyers are planned.

The ITA/ICE Agency is collaborating with AICS to optimize the project results, creating opportunities for direct meetings between the cooperatives and the Italian roasters/producers, potentially interested in directly acquiring the selected green coffee and high-quality from the Cooperative themselves.

The cultivation of coffee in Kenya, mainly Arabica, dates back to the beginning of the last century and for a long time represented one of the first national exports and a constant and reliable source of livelihood for millions of families; today it is estimated that there are six million people who work directly and indirectly around coffee. However, this cultivation has progressively lost importance over the last 30 years.

Now the initiative financed by Italian cooperation and implemented by the NGO Cefa, in partnership with Avsi and E4Impact, aims to exploit the unexpressed potential of the sector by involving 21 cooperatives in seven counties, for a total of around 45,000 farmers.

“Our commitment in the coffee sector, an Italian excellence, is an example of the attention that the Nairobi office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation dedicates to the Planet pillar of the 2030 Agenda, through a 'climate-smart' approach that it allows us to enhance and make the coffee supply chain sustainable”, says the owner of the Kenyan branch of Aics, Giovanni Grandi. These measures include correct pruning and irrigation, and fertilization through compost, to improve the yield and quality of the plants, while at the same time enhancing their resistance to climate change and diseases.

During the fair, there will be three meetings organized by AICS and ICE aimed at the public:

Sunday 21 January, 3pm – 3.15pm | Coffee Arena – TED TALK AICS/ARABIKA “A journey through Kenya through the flavors of coffee: cup profiles, olfactory notes and hints of excellence.”

Tuesday 23 January, 4.00pm – 4.45pm | Choco Arena – TED TALK AICS/ARABIKA “From bean to cup: how Kenya and Italy collaborate to revive the production of quality coffee.”

Wednesday 24 January, 1.00pm – 2.00pm | Vision Plaza – Panel “Partnership in the coffee supply chain: challenges, prospects and role of the Italian system”.

The event on Wednesday 24 January includes the participation of the Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation Marco Riccardo Rusconi, the Director General of the ICE Lorenzo Galanti and Anthony Muriithi, Agriculture Attaché of the Embassy of Kenya in Italy.

The Kenyan delegation and the AICS and ICE delegations at the opening of the SIGEP fair in Rimini

The talk organized thanks to cooperation AICS-ITA/ICE at the SIGEP Coffee Arena, where the expert Andrea Moraa presented the varieties of Kenyan coffee

From bean to cup: Italy supports the relaunch of coffee in Kenya

Nairobi, 26th October 2023 – This morning, at the Residence of the Italian Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Roberto Natali, a high-level event was held to share results and good practices achieved within the "Arabika: Relaunching gourmet coffee production in Kenya" initiative. The project is financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the Civil Society Organization CEFA, in collaboration with AVSI and the E4Impact Foundation. The event, opened by the Ambassador, counted on the presence of George Macgoye, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Vice President of Kenya, of the representatives of the governments of the counties where the initiative takes place, of the twenty-one coffee cooperatives supported and of all partners.

The project is in its third year of implementation and intervenes along the entire coffee value chain, the main objectives being the improvement of income and resilience of small rural producers and the inclusion of women and young people in the job market. The initiative intervenes to improve access to markets, both locally and globally, ensuring sustainable production and a greater economic return for small-scale coffee producers. Arabika, the result of a dialogue between the Italian and the Kenyan governments started in 2018, is in line with the coffee value chain development strategies of the central and the local governments of Kenya.

The initiative is worth an investment of 3 million Euros and is realized in seven counties, involving 21 cooperatives bringing together more than 40,000 small-scale coffee farmers. Among the main results achieved it is worth highlighting the renovation of seven laboratories for coffee tasting though infrastructural interventions and with the provision of innovative machinery and equipment, the training of hundreds of trainers, farmers and managers of cooperatives, and the identification of seven new Kenyan coffee brands that will be officially registered by the end of the year.

Ambassador Natali declared: “This initiative brings Italian excellence in the coffee sector to Kenya. The results presented today show how the spirit of cooperation and shared growth between our two countries is a driving force for development for rural communities, in the name of the added value ensured by Italian best practices".

‘We are really grateful for this Arabika project: we have seen today how the capacity has been built, and it has been built in the right places. We recognize that’ said H. E. George Macgoye, Chief of Staff from the Office of the Deputy President.

Giovanni Grandi, Head of Office of the Nairobi Regional Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, added: “The activities of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the country aim to create new growth opportunities for ensure a more sustainable future. The Arabika initiative goes precisely in this direction, strengthening a key value chain for the Kenyan economy which generates income for over 5 million people, leveraging the Italian expertise made available by our local partners".

Among those present at the event, hosted in the Residence of Ambassador Natali: George Macgoye, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Vice President of Kenya, Kenneth Lusaka, Governor of Bungoma, Giovanni Grandi, Head of AICS Office in Nairobi


The guests of honor participate in the coffee cupping of three varieties of Kenyan coffee