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

We have a full-fledged sustainability department with one responsibility; to provide technical support to farmers. This comes in the form of extension, certification, climate change education, cooperative governance among others. So far, more than 100,000 farmers have benefited from SMS training.

Recently, we embarked on an intensified campaign for women and youth integration in coffee farming using modern methodologies that have been applied elsewhere in the world. SMS is also addressing food security needs among farmers who face a wide range of challenges in their lives.

We work closely with all our development partners to ensure rapid responsiveness to the needs of farmers. These partners 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 partners and financiers in sustainability project undertaken by SMS. They often develop multiple partner projects and incorporate SMS, or singly design and implement with SMS.

It is also worthwhile to acknowledge the coffee buyers who have partnered with SMS in the sustainability program. Among these are Starbucks, Mars Drinks, Nestle, and Tchibo, just to name a few.

Important Milestones – A Company of Firsts


  • 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


SMS started marketing coffee: first catalogue, first marketing license

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


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


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)


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


  • 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


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)