Kenya’s Speciality Coffee Growers Hit As Lockdowns Close Global Coffee Shops


Like many speciality coffee growers, Kenyan exporter Jackson Kanampiu has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis as consumers are barred from the coffee shops that serve niche brews and opt for shop-bought offerings.

Kanampiu spent four years building a business in speciality coffees as the price of basic beans fell, only to see the cafes he supplies cancelling their orders due to coronavirus lockdowns.

“We have almost ground to zero,” said Nairobi-based Kanampiu. “The corona has really affected us.”

Global consumers are still drinking coffee, but few are visiting cafes. Instead they are buying medium-quality supermarket beans to drink at home, foregoing high-end coffee shop offerings and spelling disaster for specialist suppliers.

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