Since 2012, we have been working with the Katah family, and the Nandi Hills community, to establish Kenya’s first-ever “Artisanal Tea Cottage Factory”. This small specialty factory is processing orthodox teas that have never been seen before in the world market: Purple, Green, Oolong and Black artisanal teas. The factory is fully staffed, managed, and owned, by small-scale Kenyan tea farmers in Nandi Hills. The Tea Board of Kenya, has granted us one of the first tea processing licenses to produce these artisanal, direct-from-farm teas.
We are leading the research and processing of new Kenyan teas, but more importantly, we are providing steady employment where there wasn’t any before. We are currently employing 8 tea workers at the tea cottage, 30 people to hand-pluck leaves in the garden, and over 10 small-scale tea growers. We are paying sustainable wages and we are investing in rural community’s. JusTea’s ethical tea partnership offers you a unique tea with a story – justly made tea.
Trust & Relationships
Doing business in Kenya requires patience, slow careful progress. The foundation of Kenyan business is based on trust and relationships. After these are established, then you learn how you can build a partnership together. You go to their house, have dinner, drink tea with them, meet their family and then you invite them to your house to do the same. All the time you are learning about Kenyan ways of trust and relationships, you would never discuss the formalities of a business contract first. JusTea has built business on quality relationships with the tea farmers.
Approximately 80% of working youth aged 15-24 have inconsistent or casual employment in rural Kenya. A formal education is an asset, but even those highly educated struggle to find a job. We are investing in these young people by training them in tea and employing them at sustainable, fair wages. By creating new jobs, and keeping profits in the community, we hope to positively impact many tea farming villages throughout Kenya.
Trade, not Aid
Charity has no end – but business creates jobs. When people earn a steady wage, there is no longer a need for charitable donations. Money circulates in the village, and boosts the local economy. More than $1 trillion has been given as aid money to African nations over the last 50 years, but many countries are poorer and more in debt than ever before. Business creates opportunity for the development of resources, infrastructure, and wealth. JusTea is dedicated to putting people to work, while still making profits in Kenya and North America.