Company Structure

Company Structure

The world over, great companies are driven by great minds. The company therefore believes in the recruitment, development and retention of high quality people at all levels of the company’s structure. We also believe that everything rises or falls based on company leadership, and so an experienced management team is core to our success. Karirana is an equal opportunity employer that promotes meritocracy.

The company is structured into the following departments:

Field

This is one of our most crucial departments and is responsible for growing and supplying green leaf to the factory. More than 30% of the factory’s green leaf is obtained from the 324-hectare nucleus estate.

In the field, the tea bushes are planted and nurtured to maturity before plucking starts. Plucking is the routine, skillful removal of the two topmost leaves and a bud where the concentrate of tea is found. After plucking, the leaves are taken to the factory for processing into high quality black tea.

Regular activities are carried out to ensure that the tea quality is never compromised; such activities are weeding, pruning and tipping, which is the initial plucking after pruning to establish a uniform plucking table.

Periodic application of organic and inorganic matter into the soil is done to maintain a balance in soil nutrients. Pests and diseases are kept at bay with the use of integrated crop management and control methods.

The field department is also responsible for green leaf transportation from the field to the factory to ensure that sound post-harvesting handling is done.

Besides tea farming, Karirana also cultivates a variety of eucalyptus trees. These are a popular renewable source of energy, which is used in the factory. In line with sustainable agricultural practices, the company maintains over 200 hectares of eucalyptus forest with the aim of being self-reliant in fuel wood supply.

Extension services

In order to maximize returns, Karirana Management realized that it was important to enhance green leaf supply to the factory. In line with this, the extension services department was launched in 1998 to improve outgrowers' productivity.

This department is responsible for creating a link between external tea suppliers and Karirana's factory, and also to enhance out growers' production in terms of quantity and quality of green leaf. The department also provides expert advice on crop husbandry to new and existing outgrowers.

The department has played a major role in increasing the factory's green leaf supply from 17 million to 19.5 million kgs between the years 2006 and 2013.

The main services offered by the department to the outgrowers include conducting field visits to give advice on sustainable agricultural practices as well as organizing field demonstrations and holding field days to educate farmers on the best business practices.

Outgrowers need not worry about transporting their leaf bacause the department runs green leaf collection centers strategically positioned close to the outgrowers' farms. The department also operates a credit scheme for the outgrowers, which enable them to conviniently access farm inputs at cost whenever they need them. 

Factory

The factory is the processing centre of Karirana tea. It is here that the necessary processes of withering, leaf maceration (cutting), fermentation (oxidation), drying (firing), sorting (grading), quality control and packing take place. The factory has undertaken numerous capacity and efficiency improvement projects over the last ten years.

Processes such as green leaf weighing, green leaf offloading, withered leaf offloading, fermentation, dryer feeding and firewood transport to the boilers have been semi-automated while old machinery has been replaced with more efficient equipment to improve the quality of tea, process more leaf and reduce the cost of operations. Green leaf taken into the factory is weighed using a computerized weighbridge and this facilitates accurate and prompt payment to out growers at the end of each month.

The department maintains a safe working environment and complies with legal requirements on occupational health and safety and environment. The factory adopts good manufacturing practices in its operations and has regularly been audited and certified by the Ethical Tea Partnership in additional to statutory testing of tea against the standards set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Due to its high quality, Karirana tea has found favour amongst buyers in all key markets in the world including Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Afghanistan, Sudan, the United States of America and the Middle East.

Finance & Information Technology

Finance

Apart from the routine function of ensuring proper accounting records are maintained, the finance department is responsible for ensuring compliance with all statutory matters, adherence to relevant standards, practicing good corporate governance and assisting in growing shareholder wealth.

It is the policy of the company to carry out its business in a manner that is beyond reproach. The department ensures that all financial statements are prepared using appropriate accounting policies and are supported by reasonable and prudent judgements, in conformity with international financial reporting standards and as per the requirement of the law.

The department also ensures that all taxes due to the government are properly computed and submitted within the stipulated time, and that all necessary statutory returns are duly filed with the relevant authorities.

Karirana endeavours to ensure that all its dealings are in conformity with the tenets of good corporate governance. Towards this end, the department ensures provision of relevant, accurate and timely information to enable the board and the executive committee to discharge their duties. The executive committee supports the board through closer supervision of internal control processes, ensures transparency and accurate disclosure of financial information and in assessment of internal audit reports.

In furtherance of the above, the company ensures the independence of external auditors by establishing a formal and transparent arrangement in order to maintain a professional interaction with the auditors.

As a way of leading from the top in pursuance of good corporate governance practices, the head of the finance department is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which is important in ensuring adherence to professional ethics.

In order to grow the shareholder wealth, it is important to create good relationships with business partners, which can be leveraged for mutual benefit. For Karirana, outgrowers are critical in creating and sustaining business growth. In this regard, the department ensures timely and accurate accounting for payments to outgrowers, which is achieved through investments in competent personnel and information technology.

Every company exists for a purpose and Karirana is no exception. In order to achieve the intended purpose, the company develops periodic business plans. The finance department assists in preparation, analysis and implementation of the strategic and operational plans geared towards achieving the overall business plan.

Information Technology

Our business relationships have grown considerably due to the fact that most of our financial systems are now automated. An electronic payment system is utilized to improve efficiency in paying our farmers, suppliers and staff. We have also automated our operations to process field and out growers’ production data electronically. 

Human Resources and Administration

Karirana recognizes that human resources are the most critical assets in the success of any organization. In an organization with a workforce of over 700 employees and over 2000 dependants living within the company’s premises, the department plays a key role in ensuring that the welfare of all staff and their families is addressed in a professional and cost effective way.

The department has the responsibility of designing, developing and implementing all the necessary human resource programs, systems and procedures to support the effective management of the company’s personnel, while upholding the company’s principles and values.

The department has put in place a welfare scheme that includes an outsourced medical service and a well stocked and staffed in-house dispensary. Also in place are HIV/AIDS and health, safety and welfare policies that ensure staff and their families are constantly informed and remain healthy and productive at all times.

The department also handles development of human resources in terms of training and counseling. The company has a training center where in-house training is undertaken.

The department works closely with the National Industrial Training Authority to access suitable training for the employees.

The company runs nursery schools, children crèches and children feeding programs in both divisions. Further, the company, in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Education, runs an Early Childhood and Development Programme. The nursery school teachers have undertaken certified training to provide services on de-worming and treatment of minor colds, skin conditions, and taking weights and heights of the children routinely.

Karirana is an active member of the Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA). The association handles all matters relating to collective bargaining with the union on behalf of the members.

The company has a HIV/AIDS counseling centre where employees and the local community can access counseling and testing services.

Karirana is headed by the General Manager who is responsible for fostering the continuing excellence of the company’s vision, mission and core values, implementing the company’s corporate strategy, directing the management team and building key business and strategic relationships for the company. 

Eden Tea

Eden Tea department was established in October 2007. The department is responsible for the establishment of the Value Added Tea Project, specifically, to launch and grow the Eden Tea brand in the local and export markets. It is also responsible for developing and implementing appropriate policies, systems and processes necessary to achieve the overall business objectives.

Another key responsibility of the department is to develop and implement short, medium and long term marketing, sales, advertising and promotion strategies and plans aimed at increasing sales volume and profitability. These include expansion of distribution network, building long-term and sustainable customer relations in order to achieve growth in sales across all retail outlets, developing and implementing proposals for business expansion.

The department is also charged with the responsibility of liaising with third parties such as media, advertising agents, market researchers, brand communications developers and public relations agents on brand image development and enhancement, identifying, evaluating and managing opportunities in all trade channels in a timely and effective way, developing and launching new products, monitoring, controlling and reporting sales performance and other indicators to effectively enhance sales growth.

The department is committed to achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty through leadership in quality, competitiveness, differentiation and responsiveness.

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