Kericho Gold Tea maker gets Sh400m from IFC

Tea picking
Tea picking at a farm in Kericho. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Global Tea & Commodities, the Mombasa-based maker of Kericho Gold Tea brand, has received Sh400 million loan from World Bank’s commercial affiliate International Finance Corporation (IFC) for expansion in Kenya and Malawi.

The commodities exporter, which also processes macadamia, plans to increase its packaging capacity at its factory in Kenya, IFC said in a statement.

Global Tea reckoned the cash would help it directly source an additional 5,000 metric tonnes of tea from farmers and local factories and via the tea auction in Mombasa.

“IFC [has] announced a $4 million [Sh400 million] loan to support the expansion of Global Tea & Commodities and its subsidiaries. The financing will benefit local farmers in Malawi. …will also support Global Tea’s processing operations in Kenya.

“The company plans to increase packaging capacity at its factory in Kenya, which will help it source an additional 5,000 metric tonnes of tea from tea farmers and local factories directly and via auction,” said the IFC.

Apart from Kericho Gold, the group produces packed tea in Kenya under the Baraka Chai brand. It also exports tea from its factory in Mombasa to other markets in Africa and Asia, Australia, the European Union, the Middle East, South Africa, the UK and the US.

The IFC gave the money in partnership with the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme, a G-20 initiative to help in the implementation of pledges made in 2009 to improve incomes and food security in poor countries.

In the latest financing for the Malawi agricultural sector, the IFC expects that farmers in Malawi will boost production and exports of fair-trade certified macadamia and coffee.

Global Tea will expand its operations in Malawi, including planting more macadamia trees, replanting existing coffee plantations and developing a coffee out-grower programme to support 3,300 smallholder farmers.