Our Farm Blog

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility Works on the Kenyan Farms June 2012

Williamson Tea continues to embrace Social enhancing ethics, food safety standards and sustainable agricultural practices. The company is certified by Fair Trade, ISO 2200:2005, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. A number of projects, detailed below, have recently been completed on the farms.

- Both Changoi and Lelsa tea farms helped to build 18 green leaf sheds in various locations off the farm. The constructed sheds have helped to facilitate leaf handling and maintain leaf quality from out growers.

- The farm helped to repair the Chebarema/Kapsiara roads, which has helped to improve not only the road transport for the local communities, but also ensured the smooth transportation of green leaf to the factories.

- Donations of bursaries and desks & chairs were made to the Kabitungu, Tiriita Secondary Schools. The bursary in particular has enabled a student to complete their 4th year of study at Kenyatta University. Williamson's feel that it is important that, where possible, opportunities to finish higher education by members of the farms workers are secured.

- To help with reforestation projects indigenous tree seedlings were donated to farmers and surrounding communities. These natural trees will help to provide wildlife habitats going forward.

- As part of a community project the market at Kimulot has been wall fenced all round and wash facilities constructed inside the market. This project remains ongoing and once completed will be commissioned.

Summary of CHANGOI CSR Activities 2011/2012
Construction of 18 Green leaf weighment sheds for farmers 1,989,637.57
Repair of roads-Chebarema/Kapsiara roads 213,000.00
Bursaries 585,239.00
Desks & Chairs -75 pieces to  Kabitungu,Tiriita Sec.Schools. 290,231.52
Donation of Indigenous Tree Seedlings to farmers and surrounding communities. 39,000.00

- Construction of a classroom at Mogoiywa Primary School. This school is less than 100m away from Kaimosi and the CSR committee nominated it to benefit from last years CSR funds as a number of the farm worker's children learn at the school.

- Construction of green leaf sheds were completed for the out growers. This ensures high quality green leaf and also good conditions for the out growers whilst they wait for the crops to be collected each day.

Summary of KAIMOSI CSR Activities 2011/2012
Construction of classroom at Mogoiywa Primary School  422,717.00
Construction of 18 green leaf sheds 78,673.00

- Funds were granted to help with the construction of the Kaputi water project, where a new 25m water tank and weir were erected.

- The Sirua Secondary school was officially handed to the community in March 2012

Summary of KAPCHROUA CSR Activities 2011/2012
Kaputi Water Project 456,800.00

- Donations were made to the Kimatkei primary school and bursaries were made to needy students.

- The farm helped to improve the Maraba-Romorio access road.

- The out growers tea nursery was subsidised to aid in the provision of new tea bushes for the farmers.

Summary of Tinderet CSR ACTIVITIES 2011/2012
Donation-Kimatkei primary 5,000.00
Nandi Bears-Ladies Open Tournament 5,000.00
Bursaries to needy students 25,000.00
Songhor police station-Pump repair 11,533.58
Donation-Tachasis Mission 5,000.00
Kipyaor Small Holders Greenleaf Shed 27,801.00
800 lts Diesel-Maraba-Romorio Access Road 100,000.00
Smallholders Tea Nursery 1,292,096.25
Kibugat Smallholders Greenleaf Shed  50,852.65

Friday, 18 May 2012

Kenyan Farms Blog; 
18th May 2012

This is the first of what will be regular blogs and updates from the four Kenyan farms; Changoi, Kaimosi, Kapchorua and Tinderet.

Kenyan Tea production has had a turbulent start to 2012 with severe weather causing havoc to tea production.  Severe frost resulted in a significant loss of crop throughout much of Kericho and this was followed by a persistent dry weather spell that long out lasted what would be considered the normal dry period. Despite this all the farms remain optimistic and with the rains having broken over the last few weeks production and crop levels are beginning to return to normal.

As ever though whilst production may have been affected the farms are never standing still. Investments have been made to ensure the continuous production of high quality teas. Kaimosi has built a new bridge in the Bonjoge/Kapkaben zones to reduce the time taken for green to leaf arrive in the factory and ensure good leaf quality. Whilst Changoi has purchased new generators and re-routed the main power lines to the factory to ensure continuous power supply and prevent interruptions in production. Renovations have also been made to existing renewable energy sources such as the hydrum water ways and projects are underway to improve energy efficiency throughout the farms.