Nearly all multinational tea factories and eight local firms have applied for variation of licence to venture into speciality and orthodox beverages as the country seeks to cut reliance on black CTC variety.
According to the Tea Directorate, 20 multinationals are seeking permits to put up additional lines for green, purple and orthodox varieties at a time the price of tea at the auction has been falling.
East African Tea Traders Association (Eatta), which runs the Mombasa auction, wants the volume of black CTC to be reduced by about 10 per cent, which it says will raise the price at the auction by the same margin.
“We have seen an increase in the number of the factories that want licences for other types of tea other than those that they have been registered to process,” said the directorate.
The price of tea has plummeted to a near three-year low as the supply continues to rise.
The auction has a maximum limit of eight million kilos a week but the volumes have hit as a high of 9.7 million in the latest sale held this week.
Good precipitation has driven the volumes.