20141112Creating a more sustainable business environment for tea producersContentThe Coffey-managed Business Advocacy Fund is helping to create sustainable economic growth and address poverty in Kenya. This series takes a look at how the Fund works.

In Kenya, approximately 560,000 farmers working across 15 different counties earn an income from the tea industry. In 2008 new legislation was proposed that would give the Minister of Agriculture the powers to cancel tea licences and just 30 days to appeal licence revocation. The proposed legislation also required farmers to register with the tea board despite existing practices stipulating that farmers register with factories. The East African Tea Trade Association believed these changes would fragment the tea market, erode established economies of scale enjoyed by their existing operational co-operatives, and make the industry a riskier investment.

In 2010, the association successfully lobbied to revise these proposals and to create a more favourable business environment. Effective lobbying resulted in the passing of the Tea Amendment Bill (No. 2 of 2010). This bill contained provisions reflecting the views of the association, stipulating that farmers could register with factories as opposed to the Tea Board of Kenya. This has helped ensure that farmers are able to sell their products and ensure that tea companies continue to enjoy economies of scale.

The Business Advocacy Fund (BAF) is a Danida-funded project. It supports business member organisations, trades unions and civil society organisations that engage in private public dialogue and advocate for improvements in the business environment in Kenya. BAF operates with the belief that effective advocacy will lead to investment that encourages more jobs, and that strengthens the Kenyan economy.