Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kenyan Tea

Kenyans seem to drink a lot of tea, as everybody's own daily experience seems to corroborate; astonishingly however, the objective consumption statistics disprove this subjective impression.

The aim of Kenyan tea producers therefore is to raise internal consumption (several expensive advertisement campaigns have been conducted to this effect, with only modest immediate success), and to make additional gains by offering good-quality packaged tea (as tea-bags or as loose leaf) with a recognizable brand name, instead of having cheap anonymous bulk ware tea degraded through the notorious Mombasa auction (which is the pure textbook definition of a "cartel" if there ever was one). The present buzzword in the Kenyan tea sector is "value addition". Rather unsurprisingly, it is most popularly used by those who know nothing about intrinsic value factors of tea in the first place. The more general the blather about value addition, special teas, diversification, the less the speaker usually has an idea what actually could and should be done with tea in order to create real value.

Interesting article by Alexander Eichener on Kenyan tea and KETEPA, and a new brand of tea- Jani.