PUBLISHED ON March 2nd, 2015

Affa to issue speciality tea licences to 8 manufacturers

The Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority (Affa) is set to issue licences to eight tea factories, including Kenya’s second purple tea processor, to process high-value varieties.

In a gazette notice published Friday, Affa said the eight factories in Kericho, Nandi, Bomet and Trans Nzoia will be issued with the licences on April 17, barring any objections from the public.

Nandi-based DL-Koisagat Tea Company is set to receive a licence to process purple tea at its Kaptel factory, which will also process orthodox tea—a type sometimes rolled by hand. The factory has the capacity to process 10 million kilogrammes of tea.

Currently, only the Kangaita Tea factory in Kerugoya processes purple tea, which like other speciality teas requires a special processing line separate from the conventional CTC (crush, tea, curl) processing lines used for black tea.

Sh100 million

“The Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority proposes to issue the licences to the applicants who will have complied with the Crops Act, the Tea (Licensing Registration and Trade) Regulations, 2008 and any other relevant written law on 17th April, 2015,” said AFFA in the gazette notice.

DL Koisagat has invested more than Sh100 million on the speciality tea processing machines in two factories in Nandi, targeting consumers in Europe and China.

Other factories that will be licensed to process other teas such as orthodox and green tea include Boito and Evergreen factories in Bomet, Mogobich and Elgon Tea & Coffee Limited in Nandi, Towerbridge, Taiwet and Kapwen factories in Kericho.

Orthodox tea is hand processed through rolling by hand or machines that mimic this action, while green tea valued in Asia undergoes minimal oxidation in processing.

About 99 per cent of Kenya’s tea is conventional CTC black tea, meaning many factories run only the CTC processing lines.

Purple tea which is being touted by processors as a potential source of extra income for the sector that is under pressure from falling black tea process globally, was developed at the Tea Research Institute’s Kangaita station in Kerugoya.

Source: Business Daily

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