Tensions are rising in the struggle between coffee farmers and the government’s plan to implement the Coffee General Regulations for 2019. This group of regulations are meant to rejuvenate the struggling coffee industry in Kenya. Although many of the new statues are meant to help farmers, a majority of farm owners have expressed great distaste with the plans set forward sighting parts of the regulations such as the requirement to take a set amount of beans to be quality tested prior to sale as a hinderance to the industry. Another major concern that growers are voicing as one of their main points is that they were not consulted prior to the drafting of the law. According to the co-ops, only governmental ministries and county agencies were brought in to give opinions on how regulations should be changed while no growers or individuals directly involved in the process of producing or selling coffee were considered in the policy making process.
The battle for control of the industry started back in July when the regulations were first introduced however now, three months later, they have still not been put into practice because of the aggressive push back from farmers. Recently, many smaller farms have organized into large co-ops in order to take the matter to court to protect their livelihoods. Some of the biggest co-ops of farmers are joint projects from Kirinyaga county and South Rift. A spokesperson for another group based in the Kipkelion region asserted that the unfair regulations will do nothing but cripple the already shrinking industry and that if they are not changed the growers will not hesitate to take the matter to the courts.