On This Page

Kenya coffee glossary

On This Page


Key terms used in the Kenyan coffee market


A registered person who may be appointed by a grower for purposes of facilitation of overseas direct sales with regard to logistics.


A registered group comprised of smallholder growers, co-operative societies, societies, estates, unions, millers, traders or roasters, which has been licensed by a licensing authority;


The system under which clean coffee is offered for sale at a coffee exchange;


The Agriculture and Food Authority established under section 3 of the Agriculture and Food Authority Act, 2013;


A person cleared by the exchange and licensed by the Capital Markets Authority, who may be appointed by a grower or an association of growers in accordance with these Regulations, to sell their coffee on their behalf through the Exchange;


An incorporated company licensed by the Authority to buy clean coffee at the exchange for export, local sale or value addition or to import clean coffee for secondary processing in Kenya;

Cabinet Secretary

The Cabinet Secretary for the time being responsible for matters related to agriculture;

Certified coffees

Coffees produced under tenets of a recognized certification scheme bearing a certification mark;

Clean coffee

Coffee bean or dried seed of the coffee plant separated from non-food tissues of the coffee fruit where the silver skin is reduced to the maximum possible extent;


The plant botanically known as coffea species (L.) and includes the fruit, whether on the plant or detached therefrom, the seed in form of either buni, parchment coffee, clean coffee, roasted beans or ground coffee;

Coffee business

Includes operating a nursery, growing, pulping, milling, warehousing, marketing, trading, roasting and packaging of coffee;

Coffee certification

A system that distinguishes a coffee product as being sustainably grown on the basis of economic viability, environmental conservation, social responsibility and ensures traceability;

Coffee directorate

The directorate for the time being responsible for coffee established pursuant to section 11(4) of the Agriculture and Food Authority Act, 2013;

Coffee sales proceeds

Monetary consideration received in exchange for coffee purchased at the auction or through direct sales;

Coffee sample

A small quantity of coffee, drawn out of coffee lot to be a representative of that lot of coffee for purposes of display, testing, quality analysis, archiving, marketing or other legal purpose;

Coffee standards

The Kenya Coffee Standards issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards;

Coffee year

A period of twelve months beginning on the 1st October of one year and ending on the 30th September of the following year;

Collateral manager

A person qualified under these Regulations and appointed by the warehouseman or any other person who has an interest in coffee stored in a warehouse with the intention of monitoring or taking custody of the coffee; Cap 490.

Co-operative society

A co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act and licensed for purposes of these Regulations;

County government

Shall have the meaning assigned to it under Article 176 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010;

Cupping centre

A coffee quality analysis laboratory;


The conversion of current manual processes into automated and computerized processes; or paper documents into digital formats;


A person registered by the county governments or the Authority to deal with coffee as provided under these Regulations;

Direct sale

A contractual arrangement between a grower, a co-operative society, society, union, grower-miller, estate or an association of coffee growers and an overseas buyer or local roaster for the sale of own clean coffee based on mutually accepted terms and conditions enforceable in law;

Direct settlement system

A banking facility provided by commercial banks regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya for clearing and settlement of coffee sales proceeds;


An area of land or group of parcels of land under coffee not being less than five acres in size in aggregate or land under coffee which has an average annual production of not less than twenty thousand kilograms of cherry over a period of three years;


A company incorporated under the Companies Act and licensed by the Capital Markets Authority as an exchange for trading in clean coffee;


Any person who cultivates coffee in Kenya and may for purposes of licensing, include; co-operative societies, unions, associations and estates;

Grower miller

A grower who mills own parchment or buni or its members’ coffee and includes a co-operative society, unions, association, estate or any other legal entity;


Removal of the outer skin of dry parchment or buni coffee;


An inspector appointed under the Act and where applicable includes a county inspector;

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

The organization established under section 3 of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Act, 2013 or the national institution mandated by an Act of Parliament to carry out research;

Licensing authority

The Authority, or the County Government as the case may be;


A person certified and licensed by the Authority to offer the services of coffee quality analysis;


Analysis of clean coffee to determine the attributes and quality of coffee for purposes of trade;


A person licensed by the respective county government to conduct the business of coffee milling ;


Mechanical hulling or de-husking of parchment or buni coffee and includes the polishing and grading of the clean coffee;

Milling statement

A statement prepared by a miller after the completion of the milling process;

Out-turn number

An identifying number issued by a miller in respect of coffee delivered to a mill for purposes of traceability;

Primary processing

The process of removal of coffee pulp from cherry, fermentation, washing and drying to the coffee standard moisture content to obtain parchment;

Prompt date

A date specified in the sales catalogue, not being more than five working days from the date of the sale, for the payment of coffee sales proceeds by a buyer or a roaster;

Pulping station

A specified place where primary coffee processing is undertaken;


A person licensed by the respective county government to buy clean coffee under these Regulations for value addition for local sale;

Sales catalogue

A standard document prepared by a miller or an appointed broker in consultation with the exchange and growers for sale of clean coffee at the exchange;

Secondary processing

Parchment de-husking, polishing, grading and may include roasting, grinding and packaging of clean coffee beans;

Small holder

A grower cultivating coffee in a small parcel of land or in small parcels of land who does not possess his own pulping station;


The balance of coffee samples in the exchange sample room and spillages collected from millers’ milling activities for sale at the exchange and the proceeds paid to growers on pro-rata basis;

Trading floor

The physical space or electronic platform managed by the exchange where the persons licensed to trade in coffee converge for purposes of coffee trading;


An instrument prepared by the warehouseman of which the person named therein, or the last endorsee thereof, shall for all purposes be deemed to be the owner of the coffee to which it relates;


A facility registered by the Authority and licensed by the county government for the storage of coffee, and which is specifically designed to guarantee the quality and safety of the coffee;


A person who possesses skills for the management of a licensed warehouse and is licensed by the Authority;

Warehousing receipt

A certificate issued by a licensed coffee warehouseman in respect of coffee stored in a licensed warehouse for purposes of collateral.


  1. Crops (Coffee) (General) Regulations, 2019 which replaces terms in Coffee (General) Regulations, 2016