Kenya has been dealt a huge blow after European Union (EU) banned a set of products deemed to accelerate deforestation.
Coffee which Kenya’s second largest agricultural export was among the list of banned items that include palm oil, cattle, soy, coffee, cocoa, timber and rubber.
The European Commission made the decision on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 citing the products as greatest contributors to deforestation and subsequent climate change.
Undated Image of A Coffee Farm In Kenya: eLIMU
“The new law will ensure that the goods will no longer contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU and elsewhere in the world,” the Commission announced in a statement.
While the ban will affect new coffee farms in Kenya, the country will continue to export a substantial amount of coffee to EU.
European Commission announced that countries that will be automatically banned are those that are growing coffee in farms cultivated from 2020.
“When the new rules enter into force, all relevant companies will have to conduct strict due diligence if they place on the EU market.” The commission warned.
European Union is made up of 27 nations and the bloc is the largest consumer of Kenyan grown coffee.
According to Statista (2022), for the year ending in June 2021, Belgium alone imported coffer worth Ksh6.5 billion.
Coffee is a key foreign exchange earner and makes 12 per cent of exports to EU only bettered by flowers which account for 31 per cent of exports to the economic bloc.
Other top coffee buyers in Europe that will make Kenyan farmers suffer economically because of the ban are Germany and Switzerland.
According to Observatory of Economic Complexity (2022), Germany imported coffee worth Ksh3.5 billion and Switzerland imported Ksh1.7 billion worth of coffee.
Coffee aired out to dry after harvesting in Kenya