CEO Caroline Tormoi co-founded Eldo Tea Enterprises, Kenya in 2011. The social enterprise grows, processes and packages specialty purple, white and green teas. Eldo Tea partners with 30 small holder tea farmers in Nandi County and guarantees the farmers a market for their tea, at fair prices. Caroline dreams of opening a tea processing plant and of sharing the benefits that come with an export processing zone license with her community. As distribution in Kenya grows, Eldo Tea is pursuing opportunities for global online sales through an International Trade Centre / eBay training webinar programme. Eldo Tea currently has a permanent staff of five and five additional temporary employees who support the enterprise’s packaging initiative.
What you’ll hear in this episode:
- How Caroline started her business and today is a 70 percent shareholder.
- Why Caroline found the tea sub-sector attractive. The importance of proof-of-concept.
- Why Caroline used her savings to start her social enterprise.
- Eldo Tea’s lead products: purple tea and green leaf for green and black tea.
- Caroline’s dream of constructing a tea processing plant in Nandi County.
- Eldo Tea’s work with 30 small holder farmers, including training, horticultural support, a market and fair pricing.
- Challenges faced in identifying international markets and networks.
- Current distribution channels – indirect exports, local restaurants and institutions.
- Potential distribution channels – local retail channels and exports through online sales.
- The International Trade Centre (ITC) / eBay training webinars (https://bit.ly/29f36gZ) that are preparing Eldo Tea to become an online brand to be sold through ebay’s premium online store.
- The benefits Eldo Tea will receive when its new tea-processing plant is licensed as an Export Processing Zone http://www.epzakenya.com/
- Lesson Learned: Be passionate. Do whatever you do well.
- Words of Inspiration: “Where there’s tea, there’s hope, life and happiness!”