Farmed in Meru County, this Fairtrade and UTZ certified Kenyan single-origin coffee is grown on the eastern slopes of Mt. Kenya, a region rich in mineral soils and abundant rainfall. Registered in the early 1950's, Gichugene is one of four wet mills managed by the Katheri Farmers Co-operative Society (FCS) that boasts a membership of 2,200 farmers.
A managing 7-member board led by Gichunge Ikiara is committed to high standards of farming, processing and storing coffee. Active members of the board are required to produce 1,000 kgs or more of coffee1! Society members are trained on sustainable farming practices such as pruning the coffee trees, testing the soil's pH level and applying organic manure. In early October 2017, the society conducted training seminars to educate its members on using the newly acquired soil testers donated by the Meru County Coffee Union. Gichugene's effort reflect a need to improve quality and pricing for its members. This comes at a precarious time when Meru farmers are abandoning coffee for tea in search for better and frequent returns.