sustainabilityWe work closely with our customers, we support their businesses. The smallholder farmers who supply us with coffee are at the centre of SMS sustainability action. It is for them that SMS dedicates so much energy and resources.

We have a full-fledged sustainability department with one responsibility, which is to provide technical support to the farmers. Technical support comes in the form of extension, certification, climate change, cooperative governance among others. This explains the 80,000 + farmers who have benefited from SMS trainings.

Recently, we embarked on more intensified women and youth integration in coffee farming using modern methodologies that have been tried elsewhere in the world. SMS is also addressing food security needs among farmers who face multiple challenges in their lives.

Many development partners are on our back and call. They share the same vision as we do and have been working closely with us through this journey. IFC, Hivos, Solidaridad, SNV, KENAFF, CARANA among others are major financiers to sustainability projects at SMS. These either form multiple partner projects with us or singly design and implement with SMS.

It is also worthwhile acknowledging the coffee buyers who are partnering with SMS in the sustainability program. Among these are Starbucks, Mars Drinks, Nestle, Tchibo etc.

Important Milestones – A Company of Firsts

2007

  • First direct sale in Kenya
  • First group of farmers brought together by SMS
  • Conducted the first PPP in the coffee sector in Kenya (ECOM & Hivos) (4 Co-ops, 11,000 farmers)
  • First UTZ certification

2008

SMS started marketing coffee: first catalogue, first marketing license

  • Management Agency license acquired
  • SMS and Sangana management got separated

2009

  • Rainforest Alliance (RFA) certification (1st small holder one in Kenya)
  • First roaster partnership (Mars)
  • Grant from Solidaridad (smallholder trainings and certification) (PPP)

2010

1st Fairtrade small-holder certification (3,000 farmers)

  • GTZ PPP (one of the first projects globally to do carbon foot-printing)
  • 2nd Hivos project.
  • 2nd roaster partnership: Tchibo
  • Grant from IFC (smallholder trainings and certifications)

2011

  • Construction of Highlands (HCC) mill started
  • Testing of carbon calculator
  • First 4C certification
  • Biggest co-operative certified (Baragwi)
  • Largest market share to date

2012

  • Zoegas roaster partnership (certification & supply chain)
  • HCC began milling (600tns/year)
  • First open day with farmers (with Highlands)
  • The model of SMS was exported, the brand name was given to all similar activities and functions within the ECOM group globally.
  • First ECOM bankers conference

2013

First consulting assignment in the tea sector

  • Inputs as a department was introduced
  • Many of the sustainability projects came to an end; new and up-scaled projects began with the

same partners

  • New database (Navision) provisioned (Milling and Marketing module)