The Star (Nairobi)

7 March 2014

Kenya: American Coffee Buyer Capacity Questioned

NYERI county assembly agriculture committee has questioned the capacity of an American coffee buyer who has expressed interest to buy the product through the county government.

Chairman Kibera Ngunyi said businessman Timothy O'Brien through his company, The Green Coffee Vault, LLC, is 'incompetent and incapable' of buying Nyeri coffee.

He was speaking to the press outside the assembly on Wednesday. Ngunyi said the firm the buyer did not follow the right procedures as provided for by the Coffee Act of Parliament.

He said the committee discovered the company was registered in April 2013 and has no credible physical address. Ngunyi said about 12 companies are registered in the same name.

He said the 11-month-old firm lacks enough experience to deal in coffee business. He claimed that the integrity checks were not considered when choosing O'Brien.

Timothy O'brien through assistance of the county government has been holding meetings with coffee farmers across Nyeri convincing them that he will buy their parchments at better prices.

He promised to buy a kilogram of coffee at a minimum cost of Sh 80, a pledge that the committee has treated as a misleading statement.

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