Back in 2012, Grayson, Paul and Ian Bain, spent a week with Davison and Grace on their one-acre “shamba”. Davison and the farmers in his community all told us the same story, “Being a small-scale tea farmer in Kenya is not sustainable. We do not earn a decent income from plucking our green leaf and dropping it off for buyers of the factory.” We learned that after all the deductions and bonus payments, these small-scale farmers only earn about $2 per day for their work in tea. That works out to 20-30 cets per 10-hour day. This works out to a lack of basic family needs – food, water, sanitation and education.
Years later, and after many trials and patience between Canadians and Kenyans, we have established Kenya’s first-ever, small-scale farmer-owned, Artisanal Tea Factory! With your support, together we are providing fair and sustainable wages for tea farming families. It has been a long journey to get here, since 2012 we have:
Created over 40 sustainable jobs for youth and women in rural Kenya, by opening the country’s first, small-scale farmer-owned, Artisanal Tea Factory. We are currently employing 8 tea workers at the cottage factory, 30 people to hand-pluck leaves in the garden, and over 10 small-scale tea growers.
Partnered with a Women’s Herbal Tea Co-op in Eastern Kenya. JusTea is the first North American distributor for this co-op’s organic Kenyan herbs. Over 80% of the employees are women and they support hundreds of small-scale herbal tea farmers in their community.
Employed over 15 different woodworking families through the sales of our hand-carved Kenyan teaspoons. We have bought over 20,000 spoons and every purchase directly supports these carving families.
Learned an incredible amount about relational (vs contractual) business from our partners in Kenya
Travelled over 10 times from Canada to Kenya
Funded 3 trips for Buddha (our great friend and tea consultant from Darjeeling) to train farmers in crafting artisanal teas
Received one of the first Cottage-Industry Tea Processing license from the Tea Board of Kenya
We look forward to expanding our partnerships to work with more and more tea farming families. We want to offer tea drinkers like you, a rainbow of the best teas that Kenya can offer: Green, Black, Oolong and the incredible new Purple Tea! Keep up to date with farmer stories and product launches by joining our newsletter or following us on social media. #justeafarmers