Kenya - Ainabtany

Tastes Like: White grape, Vanilla, bright acidity & juicy vibrant body.

Altitude:  1850 masl
Varieties:  Ruiru11 & SL28/34
Process:   Washed
Region: West of the Kenyan Rift Valley


Lot 20 are a group that work with a coffee producers from Kericho and Bomet counties in the southern part of the Rift Valley in Kenya. They are passionate about cultivating, fair treatment of producers, and transparent trade. The group has goals to produce delicious coffee that showcases the beauty of their home region. With auction being the main option of selling coffee in Kenya, sourcing transparently can be difficult on a good day, and near impossible on a bad one. Lot 20 however is trying something new: exporting their coffee themselves. 

Kericho county has a long history of Coffee. In fact, the Kipkelion and Fort Tenan regions actually boast some of the first coffee farms in Kenya, which were originally planted by foreign settlers. Despite this, Kericho county (and by extension Bomet) are not as known for producing coffee as central Kenya. This is partially due to the fact that central Kenya’s
coffee gets sold in bulk by large exporters through the national auctioning system, and also because the farmers from Kericho and Bomet counties generally work within under-managed cooperatives that coffee dealers like to take advantage of for cheap prices.
Lot 20’s work in the region has been to try and organise Kericho and Bomet farmers into properly functioning entities that process and sell coffee on their own, without the assistance of middle men or the auction system.

Ongoing Projects
Coffee farming is relatively new in the Sossiot region of West Kericho. In an effort to support the local community and encourage coffee cultivation as a source of income, Lot 20 has established a nursery alongside their mill in Sossiot. Their goal here is to donate 50,000 plants to the local community, in the hopes that this will create the
opportunity for locals to grow and sell their own crop. By providing free seedlings Lot 20 are aiming to encourage a younger generation of coffee farmers who are more. The Coffee Nursery open to breaking old notions associated with coffee farming, so that they see it as a respectable and sustainable form of employment. Likewise, Lot 20’s presence in the community already generates jobs in areas adjacent to coffee farming, such as the many seasonal jobs in coffee picking that provide secondary incomes to local families. With the support of the Kericho county government, Lot 20 is also training
extension service officers to train farmers in various aspects of coffee farming.

Water Resources
Water is an essential element of coffee production, especially for the washed coffee Kenya is well known for pioneering and continuing to develop upon. A core value of Ainabtany and Lot 20 is to create water resources for both processing and community use within all their locations. In Fort Tenan they have made great strides to harvest and
conserve water from the local spring by bringing in workers to build and maintain a weir (a low damn that controls water levels) across the stream. This has increased the available volume of water to a few million litres, which is able to sustain operations at the mill and coffee nursery while also being easily accessible to the local community. In Cheribo, Lot 20 have just gained a permit (after many months of government bureaucracy) to drill a well/ borehole in to the earth for a new pulping operation, the development of which is ongoing.

Education in Financial Literacy
One of Lot 20’s founding principles is that all the people working with them are fairly paid for their produce and labour. So far Lot 20 have been able to pay up to KSh 85 per kilo of cherry, which translates to about 680 shillings per kilo of green coffee (based on 2022 average out-turn of 8:1; i.e 8 kilos of cherry to 1 kilo of green coffee). They have also partnered with a local branch of NCBA in Kericho to bring financial literacy to the farmers and partners of Lot 20. With help from NCBA, Lot 20 are now providing lessons in financial literacy for the workers that would like to participate. They have also
been able to get these same workers access to high calibre banking services through
the bank and NCBA bank accounts with support for mobile banking services. Mobile services will be particularly useful for generating an audit trail that ensures the farmers are definitely paid the correct amounts for their coffee. Lot 20 and Ainabtany have also been pushing for digitisation of production records, as with this data the bank will be able to analyse the financial standing of the participating workers, a necessity when applying for affordable loans. A major motivation for Lot 20 to invest in financial  education is to ensure that in future seasons their farmers and partners will be able to
access small loans for farm inputs as well as cover labour costs for the farms.


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