Tatu Estate is one of the prestigious coffee farms belonging to Kofinaf Company limited. The farm is located in Ruiru Division, Juja district,Thika sub-county in Kiambu county. Kofinaf is the leading single private coffee producing contributing to approximately 8.5% of the total coffee produced in Kenya.
Tatu Estate farm lies approximately 25 km from the capital city of Kenya Nairobi and 7km from Ruiru town along Ruiru-Kiambu road. At an altitude of about 1570 meters above sea level, the estate experiences fairly conducive climatic conditions for production of coffee.
SOILS AND CLIMATE
Tatu estate is characterized by rolling and undulating plains with very little points of high elevations. The soils are deep red volcanic with considerable proportions of loamy and sandy soils.
The water bodies are dams that have been built to contain surface water run-off. The dams are; Kajibi dam,Comte-Beaumont dam and Kiangari dam. The major source of water is the two perennial rivers that border the Estate which are Mukuyu and Kamiti. This estate experiences a bi-modal type of annual rainfall. The rain seasons are experienced in the month of March-May and October- December.
Coffee cherries here undergo wet processing method. This method basically uses water right from pulping, fermenting and soaking. The processed coffee is then dried in the drying tables under sun until it attains the correct moisture for storage and then taken into well aerated conditioning bins before storing and packing for the milling.
Water used for processing is re-circulated so as to ensure economical water consumption.
When the weather is not conducive for normal sun drying, use of electric generated driers is applied. Extreme hygienic conditions are observed during handling and processing of cherries.
This estate is UTZ KAPEH, RA and 4C’S certified. This means that there are annual audits and the Estate operations adhere to and strictly follows the set standards. Crop protection products application is based on the most current certified list of Maximum Residue Levels for coffee and the list of banned crop protection products.
Fungicide spraying regimes and rounds are dependent on the prevailing weather conditions. An annual fertilizer application program based on the annual soil and leaf analysis reports, guides the choices and the rates of fertilizers to be used.
Coffee is a perennial crop. This implies that it has an all- year production calendar. Coffee is picked in two major seasons. The seasons are low and high depending on pruning cycle. It takes approximately 9 months from flowering to berries maturity. Besides picking there are other farm operations such as pruning, fungicide spraying, weeding,irrigation,soil water conservation, inorganic fertilizers application,soil amelioration and pest control.
Irrigation is carried out when rains are not sufficient enough to meet the biological demand of the coffee stems. It is normally done during the dry spell. Soil erosion measures done by digging soak pits in the coffee blocks to contain surface run-off.
The finest Arabica coffee varieties grown in the estate are as follows; SL 28,Ruiri 11,Batian and K7
Tatu estate has a worker force of 80 permanently engaged workers and a daily 500 wallk-in casual workers. All workers must be above 18 years old. Sexual harassment is not allowed in the Estate. Labor allocation is free of tribal discrimination and all workers are treated equally regardless of their backgrounds. There is a Tatu which caters for children of the permanent workers living in the estate and those others from outside. The workers are allowed to join any labor union groups and other Savings and Credit Cooperative societies to improve their livelihoods. A strong and well trained Occupation Health and Safety committee is in place to cater for workers’ safety issues at work place.
This estate is UTZ KEPEH certified. This means that there are annual audits and the Estate operations adhere to and strictly follows the UTZ KAPEH set standards. Crop protection products application is based on the most current UTZ certified list of Maximum residue levels for coffee and the list of banned crop protection products.
Fungicide spraying regimes and rounds are based on a resistance strain schedule which is reviewed annually. An annual fertilizer application program based on the annual soil and leaf analysis reports, guides the choices and the rates of fertilizers to be used.
Tatu estate management observes all aspects of coffee production process, environment conservation and workers’ welfare in holistic approach. This enables leads to sustainable coffee production.
Cupping score of 88pts.
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