Every cup of rich Karirana Tea
is served with a
Healthy Dose of History
Kenya’s first tea seedlings were introduced and planted in Limuru about 5 kilometres from Karirana Estates. The Caine brothers brought the seedlings from India.
1925 - 1930
Between 1925 and 1930, two brothers from the Turnstall family of the United Kingdom planted the first tea farms in what now comprises Karirana Estates. Most of the farms that now make up Karirana were originally used for rearing cattle or growing wattle and geraniums before the land use changed to tea cultivation.
Karirana Estates Limited was incorporated by Mackenzie Dalgelty farms to grow and manufacture high quality tea for export, with the company George Williamson Kenya Limited appointed as the managing agent.
Most of the tea was planted between 1956 to the late 1960s. The factory was also built during this period and commissioned in 1960.
In 1986, First Chartered Securities Limited, a Kenyan owned investment holding company, acquired Mackenzie Kenya Ltd. George Williamson ceased being the managing agent and Karirana Estates Limited became self-managed.
Karirana has over the years acquired reputation as a global leader in the production of high quality tea, a reputation that has been built through continuous improvement initiatives for over 60 years.
2005 - 2008
A significant proportion of Karirana Estate Tea is sold in bulk through the Mombasa auction. The tea is popular in many markets e.g. Pakistan, Egypt, United Kingdom, Sudan, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates and United States of America.
Our Core Values
Continual Improvement "Kaizen"
Community & Social Responsibility
We run our business with precision, just like we make our tea. Tea making is both an art and a science that is dependent on attention to detail and continuous improvement.
We are very deliberate and meticulous in our business practice. We continuously scan the environment and align our strategies to it, always maintaining a competitive edge in the market place by providing high quality tea products to our customers. In addition, we also develop partnerships that can be leveraged to achieve sustainable growth to our shareholders’ wealth and the well-being of other stakeholders.
We aim to process high quality tea through investment in modern state-of-the-art manufacturing systems. We ensure our factory runs efficiently so as to expand capacity in line with production trends.
Our staff constantly drive the process to make our tea the finest, by marrying sustainable agricultural and manufacturing practices to ensure that our quality is always above the rest.
About 25% of the green leaf supplied to our factory comes from our nucleus estate. This consists of 324Ha of mature tea which ranges from old seedling teas to the modern clonal varieties that contributes to the optimal mix of quality and sustained production.
The art of growing tea has a rich heritage from years of experience where all agronomic activities employed are based on sound research and good husbandry practices that are reviewed periodically to keep up with the emerging technologies. All this is geared towards having productive tables that are plucked throughout the year giving the much needed quality raw material to the factory.
We maintain a highly skilled workforce which does the routine plucking of removing the two top most leaves and a bud where the concentrate of tea is found. After plucking, the leaves are transported to the factory within the shortest time possible to guarantee freshness that enable processing into high quality black CTC tea and orthodox teas.
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 for curing. 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 operations was launched in 1998 to improve out growers’ productivity and support the small scale tea farmers in the neighbourhood.
The operations has over 500 small scale farmers and has greatly enhanced their production in terms of quantity and quality of green leaf through expert advice on crop husbandry and technical support. The Extension services operates a credit scheme for it’s registered out growers’ farmers, which enable them to conveniently access farm inputs at cost.
Karirana Tea Management Services (KTMS)
Karirana Tea management Services (KTMS) Limited, is a subsidiary of Karirana Estates Limited. It was incorporated in year 2000 to provide professional management services to tea farms and tea manufacturing factories within East Africa.. The company’s activities are coordinated from our head office in Karirana Estates, Limuru.