Mau Tea has several departments that make it a successful Cooperative Society in the region and beyond. The following are the main departments/units of the Cooperative.
Mau Tea Farm:
Mau Tea has its own tea estate which borders Kaisugu Tea Company, Mau Forest, Kapsaos market/village, and Unilever Tea plantation. The Co-operative Society has recently renewed most of the tea bushes to improve on quantity and quality of the crop. In addition to improving on the green tea through improved clones, Mau Tea has also introduced a new clone of tea known as purple tea. Purple tea is gradually gaining popularity in the World due to the several health benefits.
Mau Tea Factory:
Mau Tea currently processes tea leaves both from its own farm as well as from several tea farmers through the Outgrower programme. The factory which is located within the Co-operative Society’s head Office was installed in 2012 and has since been operational since then. The amount of tea leaves processed by the factory has grown tremendously especially due to the growth in the number of new small scale farmers from the community who enrolled in the Outgrower programme. Though the Tea Factory currently has one production line, it has a capacity to accommodate four times the current capacity. There are plans to increase production by installing additional production lines to meet the growing demand.
Mau Tea introduced the Outgrower programme to assist the small scale tea farmers who had challenges finding reliable tea factories that offered good returns for their crop. Mau Tea supports small scale tea farmers through the Outgrower programme. Due to the increasing number of small scale farmers around the region (Kericho and Bomet Counties) Mau Tea plans to expand the capacity of its Tea Factory to meet this growing demand.
The Outgrower programme has benefitted most of the Cooperative Society’s shareholders who grow tea. However it is not a requirement for a small scale farmer to be a shareholder to enroll in the Outgrower programme.
Mau Tea has invested in tree planting around the Tea plantation. Once mature, these trees are harvested for firewood to be used in the Factory for Tea processing. The Drier machine consumes significant amount of firewood daily when operational. Most of the tree coverage in Mau Tea is that of eucalyptus forest. Just like tea from Outgrowers, the Cooperative Society occasionally purchases firewood from the local community to supplement its own firewood production.
Mau Tea is conscious of the importance of protecting the water catchment areas within the Tea plantation. Indigenous trees have been planted around the water catchment areas and along the rivers and streams throughout the Estate. As a result of the several well protected water catchment areas within and around the Tea Plantations, Mau Tea is able to generate its own safe water for use in the Cooperative Society.
Mau Tea employs several workers ranging from top management to lower cadre staff. Though most of the employees commute from the local community, several of them reside with the Estate. For convenience most of the Factory employees live around the Factory since the Factory operates for 24 hours on shifts. Other employees live in other housing units spread across the Tea plantation.
The Cooperative Society will continue increasing the housing units as the demand for staff housing increases.
Mau Tea Clinic:
Employees’ Health is primary priority for Mau Tea. Healthy staff population means lower employee turnover and minimum absenteeism. This translates to higher production and lower cost of production. Mau Tea operates a well-equipped Health Clinic located at the Society’s head Office. The Clinic serves the employees and their dependents. In addition to the Clinic, the employees also enjoy the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) which the Mau Tea Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. Contribute towards.
In a situation where an employee requires specialized treatment, the Clinic refers their patients to the County referral hospital or any other referral hospital based on the patients preference. Therefore the Clinic works closely with the County referral hospital in Kericho to ensure the employees get adequate Health services at all times.
Mau Tea Primary School:
Mau Tea values the Education of the employees’ children. For this reason Mau Tea has invested heavily in building and supporting a state of the art public primary school near the Cooperative Society’s Head Office. Mau Tea Primary School serves the Mau Tea’s employees’ children as well as those of the neighbouring community. The location of the school makes it convenient for the children to access the school with ease.
Being a public school, the government provides most of the teachers through Teacher Service Commission (TSC). The school supplements the TSC teachers with those employed by Board of Management (BoM). The BoM is supported by Mau Tea Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd.
Mau Tea Nursery:
Mau Tea produces its own seedlings for both tea and trees. This department is responsible for raising enough seedlings to serve the Cooperative Society’s needs as well as those of the community. Outgrower small scale farmers enrolled in Mau Tea’s Outgrower programme are given priority when distributing the seedlings.