Coffee in Kenya: Some challenges for decent work

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1 WP. 260 SECTORAL ACTIVITIES PROGRAMME Working Paper Coffee in Kenya: Some challenges for decent work by Leopold P. Mureithi Working papers are preliminary documents circulated to stimulate discussion and obtain comments International Labour Office Geneva 2008

2 Copyright International Labour Organization 2008 First published 2008 Publications of the International Labour Office enjoy copyright under Protocol 2 of the Universal Copyright Convention. Nevertheless, short excerpts from them may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. For rights of reproduction or translation, application should be made to ILO Publications (Rights and Permissions), International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland, or by The International Labour Office welcomes such applications. Libraries, institutions and other users registered with reproduction rights organizations may make copies in accordance with the licences issued to them for this purpose. Visit to find the reproduction rights organization in your country. Mureithi, Leopold P. Coffee in Kenya: Some challenges for decent work / by Leopold P. Mureithi; International Labour Office, Sectoral Activities Programme. Geneva: ILO, v. (Working Paper, No. 260) ISBN: (print); (web pdf) International Labour Office; Sectoral Activities Programme coffee / agricultural product / plantation / agricultural production / value chains / decent work / agricultural employment / plantation worker / working conditions / occupational health / occupational safety / Kenya ILO Cataloguing in Publication Data The designations employed in ILO publications, which are in conformity with United Nations practice, and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Labour Office concerning the legal status of any country, area or territory or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers. The responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles, studies and other contributions rests solely with their authors, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the International Labour Office of the opinions expressed in them. Reference to names of firms and commercial products and processes does not imply their endorsement by the International Labour Office, and any failure to mention a particular firm, commercial product or process is not a sign of disapproval. ILO publications and electronic products can be obtained through major booksellers or ILO local offices in many countries, or direct from ILO Publications, International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. Catalogues or lists of new publications are available free of charge from the above address, or by Visit our web site: Printed in Switzerland

3 Preface Achieving decent work in global production systems usually requires some degree of economic and social upgrading of the production and trade processes of a commodity. Such upgrading may in turn entail costs along the entire spectrum, from investments, supply chain management, and sensitization of the social partners to the need to improve productivity in order to compete globally, and labour costs since consumers are increasingly demanding fair trade practices in commodities. The study which follows was conducted as part of a general ILO search for more policy coherence the commodity selected was coffee, and the countries Viet Nam, Costa Rica and Kenya. Not only are the key challenges facing the coffee sector in Kenya outlined, but the study shows that Kenya is poised today to respond to the challenge of applying decent work policies and practices in the sector since the opportunities to effect change are clearly defined and attainable if supported by political will. However, ongoing and effective broad social dialogue, combined with good governance, are prerequisites if decent work principles are to be applied to all who depend on the coffee sector for their income. We hope that this modest effort will help to foster such dialogue among all the actors involved and lead the way to higher levels of decent work in Kenya s coffee sector. Elizabeth Tinoco Chief Sectoral Activities Branch WP-External En.doc iii

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5 Contents Page Preface... iii 1. Background Introduction Historical backdrop Coffee varieties and growers Coffee in agriculture Coffee production Coffee supply value chain From seed to sale Distribution of value Decent work issues Employment trends Social dialogue Industrial relations Terms of service Conditions of work Hours of work and rest Leave Housing Medical benefits Child labour Occupational safety and health Conclusions on decent work Upgrading possibilities and value addition strategies Coffee seed and seedling quality Farm-level agronomic practices Primary processing Milling operations The marketing system Establishment of a coffee exchange Value addition opportunities Conclusions and recommendations WP-External En.doc v

6 Tables 1. Prices and value of coffee Kenya coffee value chain Coffee production costs Ratifications by Kenya of fundamental international labour Conventions as of 15 May Primary processing costs from cherry to parchment coffee Figures 1. Coffee production trends, The coffee value chain Coffee land productivity Box Respect for freedom of association Appendices Annex figure 1. Coffee map of Kenya Annex table 1. Agriculture and livestock gross production, (thousand KES) Annex table 2. Coffee production and land productivity, Annex figure 2. Coffee wet processing Sectoral working papers vi WP-External En.doc

7 1. Background The coffee sector in Kenya is an important economic activity in terms of income generation, employment creation, foreign exchange earnings and tax revenue. Over the years, the economic performance of coffee has had repercussions on all spheres of life, both upstream affecting farm input suppliers and downstream the transport sector; on savings and investment intermediation; consumption of goods; and households ability to pay for education, health and other services. Even politics at all levels cannot ignore or be ignored by coffee, not least in the race for well-paying jobs, sinecures, and contracts in the various institutions that serve as gravy trains in the coffee sector cash cow. The main focus of this paper is to shed some light on how the coffee sector in Kenya has fared over the years, see which aspects need improving, and propose how to effect such improvement with specific measures. More specifically, the objectives of the paper are to: document the economic and social trends in the coffee sector in Kenya; highlight the magnitudes of earnings and factor shares by the various actors/stakeholders in the value chain; assess the technology in the production process from the farm level through pulping and milling; record gender and age stratification in employment and earnings; verify decent work status and prospects for improvement; identify economic upgrading and value addition strategies; and make policy recommendations to address the issues identified. Data and information to enable analyses of the problems were gathered mostly from secondary sources, mainly the publications of the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK), the Central Bureau of Statistics and the government printer. Some data were collected from brief field visits and the author s knowledge of the sector. The first section of the paper provides a brief history of coffee in Kenya, and its dispersion and production structure. An industry overview follows in sections three and four which cover production and trade respectively. Section five focuses on the supply chain, its magnitude and the distribution of value among the various players. Section six presents employment and decent work issues in the sector, while section seven discusses the opportunities for improvements, upgrading prospects, and value addition strategies. The paper ends with policy recommendations in section eight. WP-External En.doc 1

8 2. Introduction 2.1. Historical backdrop Kenya produces some of the best coffee in the world. Being the more flavourful Coffea Arabica rather than Coffea Canephora (Robusta), the fully washed mild belongs to the top quality group called Colombian milds. 1 This is attributed to the welldistributed rainfall; high altitude (1,500 2,000 metres above sea level) and therefore moderate temperatures (averaging 20 centigrade Celsius), with characteristically high equatorial ultraviolet sunlight diffusing through thick clouds; and deep red volcanic soils. Coffea originated in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia where it grows naturally. It became an item of trade with Yemen in the fifteenth century and by 1700 the ports of Aden and Mocha were sources of what became Arabica coffee seeds. French missionaries planted some in Bourbon (now Reunion) Island in 1708, and by 1817 about 3,000 tons were being produced annually. The Bourbon seeds were brought to mainland Tanzania (notably Bagamoyo and Morogoro) in 1863 by the Holy Ghost Fathers of the French Catholic Church who eventually proceeded to plant it at Bura near Taita Hills in Kenya in the early 1890s. At this time, the Protestant Scottish missionaries were experimenting with Mocha seedlings at their various stations in Kenya, including Kibwezi (1893) and Kikuyu. In 1897, Brother Zolanus Zipper of the Holy Ghost missionaries brought seed from Morogoro to plant at the Nairobi mission (St. Austin s Muthangari), added 100 seedlings from Bura the following year and got an acre (less than a half hectare) of flowering crop by This crop represented varieties of Mocha, with a bronze leaf tip, and Bourbon, with a dark green leaf tip. Due to their cultivation over the years under different conditions, the various coffee varieties seem to have hybridized into a special variety of coffee that was christened French Mission coffee. By 1904, the Muthangari station had 5,000 mature trees, 15,000 by 1910 and 52,000 by The station supplied seeds and seedlings to other early coffee growers in the country Coffee varieties and growers Over time, research, selection and breeding processes to address issues of coffee berry disease, drought resistance, flavour, leaf rust, mealy bug and other pests and diseases have led to the development of two popular super strains/varieties developed before independence in 1963; namely Scot Laboratory (SL) 28 which is Mocha-dominated, not particularly high yielding, drought resistant and superior in taste than SL 34 which is a high yielder across a variety of altitudes and climate. These two account for over 90 per cent of Kenya s coffee. Other varieties are Blue Mountain, introduced in Western Kenya from Jamaica in 1913 due to its resistance to coffee berry disease; Bourbon grown in the Solai area of the Rift Valley; Kent (K) variety K7, and K20 planted in Meru in 1934, with the former being resistant to leaf rust but of poor flavour and the latter which is very susceptible to coffee berry disease; and Ruiru 11 released in Ruiru 11 is resistant to coffee berry disease and leaf rust, but its robusta genes has resulted in a taste that is inferior to the SL varieties. 1 See Jeremy Block and Rand Pearson, with Chris Tomlinson: Kahawa: Kenya s Black Gold, Nairobi, C. Dorman Ltd, WP-External En.doc

9 Today, coffee is grown in the highland districts of Kenya: Kiambu, Muranga, Nyeri, Thika, and Kirinyaga in Central Province; Meru North, Meru Central, Meru South, Embu, Machakos and Kitui in Eastern Province; Nakuru, West Pokot, Kajiado, Baringo, Kericho, Nandi, Laikipia, Transnzoia, Uasin-Gishu, Keiyo, Marakwet and Kajiado in Rift Valley Province; Bungoma, Kakamega, and Busia in Western Province; Kisii, Siaya, Kisumu, and South Nyanza in Nyanza Province; and Taita in Coast Province. The high production zone is a triangle formed by Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Range and Machakos Town essentially the Central and Eastern Provinces which account for about 70 per cent of Kenya s coffee production (see the coffee map of Kenya in appendix figure 1). Coffee producing areas contain about 45 per cent of Kenya s population, estimated at 36.4 million. 2 Since some of these people are as much as 40 per cent income-dependent on coffee, their lives revolve around the fate of coffee. Kenya coffee sector is composed of two categories of farms: the plantation sub-sector comprising of about 3,300 farms of which 300 are greater than 25 hectares; and the cooperative sub-sector of some 523 cooperative unions with about 700,000 smallholders cultivating about 120,000 hectares of coffee, equivalent to about 0.2 hectares apiece. It is estimated that a total of 170,000 hectares 3 are under coffee and that 75 per cent of that total is organized around smallholder cooperatives. 2 Economic Survey, Central Bureau of Statistics, 2006, Nairobi, Kenya. 3 ibid., table 8.3, p There is a dire need to conduct a ground verification of this statistic on acreage, since its constancy in official statistics since 2000 is suspect. The field offices operated by the Coffee Board of Kenya would facilitate this task. WP-External En.doc 3

10 3. Coffee in agriculture Land-farming agriculture constitutes some 24 per cent of Kenya s gross domestic product (GDP). This includes growing of crops, horticulture, animal husbandry, and forestry and logging. Trends in these activities reveal that the value of cereals (maize, wheat, barley, rice and others) doubled between 1999 and 2005; horticulture (cut flowers, vegetables, and fruits) almost tripled during the same period; and showed strong upward climb for temporary industrial crops (pyrethrum, sugarcane, cotton and tobacco), permanent crops (coffee, sisal and tea), and livestock products (meat, eggs, wool, dairy products, hides and skins). But this aggregation masks significant downward trends in pulses, potatoes, tobacco, and coffee (see appendix table 1). Pulses, over the years, have come to be considered as minor crops in Kenya. As a result, little research and development attention have been devoted to such traditional crops as peas, dolichis lab lab, green grams, etc. Potatoes have been left to rot and be potato-blight smitten owing to the decay of decline of the former robust research and extension programme. As for tobacco, the fall in production is simply a response to tobacco control policies arising from the increasing evidence that smoking is dangerous to the primary as well as secondary/involuntary/passive smokers. 4 While other crops are not directly the subject of this paper, it is worth noting that coffee has lost to them over time. Coffee s share in the agricultural GDP fell from 14 per cent in 1999 to 6.7 per cent in This loss in relative value gravity for coffee seems to be due to a decline in production, productivity and price. These issues will later be examined in detail. 4 See L. Mureithi: Tobacco-related issues in Kenya, in Economic, Social and Health Issues in Tobacco Control, WHO, Kobe, WP-External En.doc

11 Production in tons 4. Coffee production Kenya coffee production increased rapidly in ripples in the two decades after independence. As shown in the appendix table 2 and figure 1, total production for both estates and cooperative sub-sectors rose from 43,778 tons in to 128,941 tons in Since then, however, the coffee industry has been on a downward trend except for a brief spell in As a result, coffee s contribution to incomes, employment creation and foreign exchange earnings has declined. Figure 1. Coffee production trends, Estates Coops National output / / / / / / / / / / / /83 Years 1983/ / / / / / / / / / /06 Source: Task Force Report on Coffee Marketing, Ministry of Agriculture August 2003, p. 158; Economic Survey, 2006, Government of Kenya; and The Coffee Quarterly, Kenya Coffee Traders Association, No. 2/2006, p. 9. Table 1 shows the tonnage and value of coffee marketed as well as the average gross prices to farmers for the period Table 1. Prices and value of coffee Year Coffee sold (tons) Value of sales (thousand KES) Average gross farm prices (KES/kg) * *Estimate. N.B.: Amount sold may differ from amount produced in a particular year due to carry-over stocks. Source: Economic Survey, Central Bureau of Statistics, various years. WP-External En.doc 5

12 The following observations are evident on the recent trends in the coffee sector: Tonnage of coffee sold has nosedived from 98,000 tons in 2000 to 45,000 in Value of sales plummeted from 1.1 billion to 0.7 billion Kenyan shillings (KES) during the same period. Between 1975 and 1986, coffees constituted over 40 per cent of Kenya s total exports; but this value dropped to 9 per cent by 1992 and to 4 per cent in Tourism, horticulture and tea have taken over. Similarly, prices of coffee declined from KES12 per kg in 2000 to 10 in 2003, but have since bounced back to 22 per kg. So why has coffee production not picked up as a result of the price increase? First, owing in part to the rather long gestation period between the planting of the coffee seedling to the harvest of cherries, since the first harvest for a newly planted coffee tree usually takes place after two years, and optimal yields are reached two to three years later. 6 Taking a cue from the latter, most of the older trees, at any rate, may have reached the stage of diminishing returns. Could it be also that the farmers feel discouraged by production costs and marketing constraints which show up at the farm-gate in the net price received and the domestic terms of trade? This would lead to neglect of the coffee bushes and substitution of the crop with other economic activities in some areas. To get to the root of this issue, we need to look at how the value added is shared by the various stakeholders/actors in the Kenya coffee sector. 5 Economic Survey, op. cit., various issues. 6 See B. Daviron and S. Ponte: The Coffee Paradox. Global Markets, Commodity Trade and the Elusive Promise of Development, Zed Books, London, 2005, p WP-External En.doc

13 5. Coffee supply value chain 5.1. From seed to sale The value chain in coffee production involves the following steps: nursery operations to produce seedlings; farm-level operations (planting, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, picking/harvesting of red cherry); transportation of cherries to the pulpery/coffee factory; coffee factory primary processing: pulping, fermenting, washing and drying to produce parchment coffee, either at a cooperative facility or in a farm-based pulpery; curing operations (removing parchment/peeling, cleaning and polishing the beans to produce green coffee beans), by a miller; milling plant operations: hulling, cleaning/polishing, sorting, grading, bagging, e.g. by Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) and Thika Coffee Mills; auctioning at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE) where dealers, roasters, marketers and exporters buy various grades of green coffee; roasting, grinding, blending and packing/packaging by roasters and marketing agents, e.g. C. Dormans and Nairobi Java House. Can be done locally or in the importing country; and marketing and selling: locally, regionally, globally packed or even in bulk by dealers, roasters, marketers and exporters to supply coffee to consumers. Figure 2 illustrates this value chain of the transformation of coffee from production to consumption. WP-External En.doc 7

14 Figure 2. The coffee value chain Export Domestic consumption Dealer/exporter Auction Marketing agents Millers Cooperatives Small estates Large estates Smallholders Informal chain > Source: Final report on assessment of the value-adding opportunities in the Kenyan coffee industry, European Commission, April Distribution of value Total income generated in a coffee value chain is equal to the total expenditure by the consumers of the coffee. The average coffee price per kilogram becomes an indicator of the value of what is to be shared by all the agents involved in the production, processing, distribution and marketing of that unit weight. Table 2 gives the Kenya coffee value chain for , the year for which formal calculation has been done. It is indicative of the relative magnitudes of the values. Table 2. Kenya coffee value chain Quantity Unit $/kg clean coffee FOB price % FOB 1.73 Shipping/clearing 1.50 $/50 kg 0.03 Transport port 0.40 $/50 kg 0.01 Insurance 0.5% 0.01 Bank charges/interest 1.0% 0.02 Exporters margin 1.5% 0.03 Transport to Mombasa seaport 1.00 $/50 kg 0.02 Exporter s warehouse 1.50 $/50 kg 0.03 Picking/bulking 2.50 $/50 kg 0.05 Transport auction to warehouse 1.00 $/50 kg 0.02 Auction price WP-External En.doc

15 Quantity Unit $/kg clean coffee FOB price % Coffee Board of Kenya cess 1.0% 0.02 Coffee Research Foundation cess 2.0% 0.03 County Council cess 1.0% 0.02 Auction fees 0.2% 0.00 Marketing agent s commission $/ton 0.07 Ex-mill price Milling/quality analysis/handling $/parchment 0.08 Transport to mill KES per bag/ parchment Ex-primary processing price Primary processing costs 20% Auction price 0.31 Available grower price Grower price (KES/kg/cherry) Source: Final Report on Assessment of the Value-Adding Opportunities in the Kenyan Coffee Industry, European Commission, April 2004, table 1.2, p. 43. It reveals that only 58 per cent of the free-on-board (FOB) export price of coffee reaches the grower and that 42 per cent is taken up by local intermediaries by way of transport, insurance, warehousing and shipping: exporters/dealers (10 per cent), levies/cesses (4 per cent), marketing agents (4 per cent), millers (6 per cent) and primary processing/cooperative/factory (18 per cent). Currently, a government directive requires that payout to farmers be applied at the rate of 80 per cent of the FOB price. 7 Its implementation has yet to be evaluated. The many agents 8 and tax/cess 9 collectors at every node of the value chain who share the gains all along the chain further depress the grower price. In addition, production costs have to be netted. These costs are indicated in table 3 on the basis of a sustainable output of 400 kg of green coffee per hectare For a statement that the Ministry of Cooperatives is keen to ensure that at least 80 per cent of proceeds from coffee sales go to the farmers, see Daily Nation newspaper, 22 Mar. 2007, p In , the following were licensed under various categories: five (5) millers, three (3) marketing agents, five (5) auctioneers, forty-eight (48) dealers, eleven (11) roasters, eleven (11) packers and twenty-four (24) warehousemen. By early 2007, there were 32 grower marketing agents and 11 commercial ones. 9 Kenya Roads Board earns 0.5 per cent of coffee earnings for its mandate to build and maintain rural access roads. WP-External En.doc 9

16 Table 3. Coffee production costs Item KES/hectare KES/ton Materials costs Fertilizer Manure Fungicides Insecticide Total materials costs Labour costs Weeding Pruning Fertilizer application Fungicide/insecticide application Manuring Harvesting Total labour costs Total costs Per kg/cherry (KES) 7.29 Source: Final Report on Assessment of the Value-Adding Opportunities in the Kenyan Coffee Industry, European Commission, April 2004, table 3.4, p. 63. Further assumptions are that 100 kg of fertilizers are required, that pesticides are sprayed two or three times during the growing season, and that 107 days of labour are required as input at a wage of KES110 per day. This regime of optimal application of required inputs and proper crop husbandry would yield a gross margin of KES( ) = KES5.89 per kilogram of cherry, or KES2,356 per hectare per annum. The average small farmer, with 0.2 hectares would earn KES471 in income from coffee per year. With the more realistic yield of kg per hectare, the small farmer cannot even approximate this ideal. For a 25 hectare estate, the farmer s annual earnings would amount to KES58,900. Whether these earnings are sufficient to cover the opportunity cost of the coffee farmer or not; or whether the farmer will be able to obtain the required funds to acquire the inputs needed up front to invest in this income-generating venture, are dire issues. With regard to opportunity cost, farmers lament low payments which, to make matters worse, are often delayed for as long as a year or more. It is not surprising, therefore, that many coffee farmers are in debt on loans borrowed from savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, and other commercial banks. They total an estimated KES13 billion. Of these loans, 60 per cent are non-performing or unserviceable debts. 10 It is common knowledge that within the cooperative sector, this debt overhang has prompted some farmers to dodge by migrating to other financial institutions for purposes of receiving payments for their coffee and leaving the debt in the old cooperative 10 Kenya Coffee Sector. Poverty and Social Impact Analysis, Bell Consulting Ltd, 2006, p WP-External En.doc

17 account unserviced, thus incurring penalty on their loans and increasing the financial strain on the credit cooperatives. There is also evidence that some farmers avoid the banks and the cooperative societies altogether and sell their coffee for spot cash to private traders who bulk and sell to private factories. This illegal informal chain is not well established. Amid all this agony, the irony is that the CBK owes farmers KES641 million outstanding from coffee sales since 2002 and that KES250 million was contributed for the abortive Coffee Bank. The resolution of these debts would go a long way to assist farmers and boost confidence in the sector, as would the proposed Coffee Development Fund (CDF) on condition that it does not impose an undue burden on the farmers. There is clearly a need for debt rescheduling and relief as well as developing and enforcement of a service delivery charter. Quality service and proper management of cooperative societies are of utmost importance. Since those societies apportion themselves as much as 18 per cent of the value (while this percentage should not normally exceed 10 per cent), they should deliver more value for money. Many cooperatives employ managers who are not well qualified, leading to general mismanagement. The main causes of the problem are: Corrupt practices by management committees. In most cases, management committee members reward themselves over and above the stipulated requirements they are legally allowed. Poor management skills. Most officials of the management committee are poorly educated and lack skills for running societies, e.g. understanding financial management statements. Nepotism. Leaders are selected on the basis of family or clan connections rather than for qualities to ensure achieving a common economic goal. As a result, members in opposition team up according to clan or political groupings, and the upshot is unstable leadership. 11 Cost overruns by cooperatives are recovered from members who end up obtaining very low net payout. Less than 1 per cent of Kenya s coffee is roasted and consumed locally; hence, prices of exports and foreign exchange macroeconomic management affect farmer earnings. The recent appreciation of the Kenya shilling against major foreign currencies 12 is an implicit tax on coffee earnings since it impinges on value addition. This needs to be computed in addition to the general loss in relative purchasing power arising from the deterioration of domestic terms of trade between agriculture and other sectors of the Kenya economy, 13 meaning that what agriculture purchases as input from the other sectors is relatively high. It is not surprising to note, therefore, that the cost of coffee production in Kenya is higher than in the competing countries. It is estimated that a kilogram of coffee (FOB) costs 11 Hezron O. Nyangito: Policy and Legal Framework for the Coffee Sub-sector and the Impact of Liberalization in Kenya, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), Discussion Paper, No. 2, Jan. 2001, pp The value of the United States dollar fell from KES79 to KES 69 in the course of about two years, i.e. exporters lost about KES10 for every dollar earned. 13 Eric Ronge; Bernadette Wanjala; James Njeru; Douglas Ojwang I: Implicit Taxation of the Agricultural Sector in Kenya, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), Discussion Paper, No. 52, Dec. 2005, p. 32. WP-External En.doc 11

18 US$1.73 in Kenya compared to US$1.30 in Colombia and US$1.38 in Costa Rica. 14 The high costs of production in Kenya are attributed to poor and costly infrastructure, high processing costs, and internal market inefficiencies. As a result, the net price received by many growers is not sufficient to sustain production but only to continue producing through cross-subsidies or by incurring losses. Improving the net return to the growers must, therefore, be a main thrust in coffee industry revival. 14 European Union: Value adding opportunities report, op. cit., p WP-External En.doc

19 6. Decent work issues There are four pillars 15 that support the objective of decent work, namely: fundamental rights and principles at work; employment promotion; social protection; and social dialogue. This section of the paper examines the application of these basic decent work principles to the Kenya coffee sector Employment trends In spite of the many challenges faced by the sector as outlined in the foregoing sections, coffee has remained a major employer in Kenya. Between 2001 and 2005, the estate sub-sector accounted for an average of 61,000 employees in any one year, 16 equivalent to 19 per cent of total employment in agriculture and forestry activities and about 4 per cent of total employment in Kenya. In terms of gender, 75 per cent of total employment in this commodity chain are males and 25 per cent females. Casuals and parttimers constitute 21 per cent of the total, of whom 20 per cent are men and 24 per cent women. To the 61,000 employed in the coffee estate sub-sector should be added the persons working in coffee activities either for pay, profit or family gain in the small coffee farm/cooperative sub-sector either as regular workers or on a seasonal or casual basis. Such activities cover weeding, spraying, harvesting/picking, sorting and transporting coffee to the pulpery. Other workers are employed in coffee factories, milling, marketing and allied activities. As for the smallest units among the smallholders, some 700,000 are self-employed coffee growers. When all are accounted for, close to a million people depend on the coffee sector for their living, employed at some stage in the commodity chain. The following section analyses the status of labour relations and the quality of jobs in the context of farm-level activities but does not deal with the agro-industrial aspects of the coffee chain Social dialogue Social dialogue includes all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. The ILO recognizes that the definition and the concept of social dialogue varies from country to country and over time. 15 Decent work in the global economy, statement by the Director-General of the ILO, Moscow, 16 July Statistical Abstract 2006, p. 253 and Economic Survey 2006, Kenya, p. 69. WP-External En.doc 13

20 It consists of negotiations between an employer, a group of employers or employers representatives and workers representatives to determine the issues related to wages and conditions of employment. 17 Box Respect for freedom of association First and foremost, social dialogue is built on respect for and implementation of freedom of association. Freedom of association is a multi-faceted concept, and includes: the right of workers and employers to form and join organizations of their own choosing, and to do so without prior authorization; the free functioning of those organizations; the right to elect representatives in full freedom; the right of organizations to organize their internal administration; the right of organizations freely to organize their activities and to formulate their programmes; the right to strike; the right to form federations and confederations and affiliate to international organizations of workers and employers; protection against anti-union discrimination; and protection against acts of interference. Where there is an absence of full respect for freedom of association, the social dialogue process will lack legitimacy, and hence cannot be sustainable. If, for example, workers and employers are not able to freely choose their organizations, the organizations involved in the social dialogue process cannot truly be representative; or if there is inadequate protection against anti-union discrimination, frank and transparent consultations or negotiations will not be possible. Source: Key features of national social dialogue: A social dialogue resource book, Junko Ishikawa, ILO, Geneva, The Government plays a critical role in enacting appropriate national laws and regulations as well as in enforcing them effectively. It should ensure the protection of independence and fundamental rights of employers and workers and their organizations, and promote social dialogue as an actor or a facilitator. If quality of life were to be considered an overriding national objective, quality of work would necessarily be a major component, and decent work the tool to achieve that goal. Decent work means productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. 18 It refers to both adequate opportunities and remuneration for work (in cash or kind), safety in work and healthy working conditions, social security and protection against risks of loss of income See Junko Ishikawa: Key features of national social dialogue: A social dialogue resource book, ILO, Geneva, Decent work: Report of the Director-General, ILO, Geneva, See Dharam Ghai: Decent work: Concepts, models and indicators, p. 3, International Institute for Labour Studies, Geneva, July WP-External En.doc

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