Serving the Specialty Tea Market Since 2000
Wakulima Tea Company Ltd, incorporated in August 2000, is a joint venture between Tanzania Tea packers (TATEPA) AND Rungwe Small Holders Tea Growers Association (RSTGA – UMOJA).
The Company was formed primarily with the mission of taking over the business of former Tanzania Tea Authority (T.T.A.)-Rungwe Branch; which before then was a parastatal organization. TATEPA owns 70% and RSTGA has 30% of the Company share capital.
The Company is under a board of directors (7) from shareholding institutions mentioned above. Five board members are from TATEPA and two members are from RSTGA – UMOJA.
Its day – today operations are under a Managing Director who is assisted by six (6) departments; Finance, Administration, Agriculture, Production, Engineering, and Transport. WATCO has extension services unit under agricultural department to provide agricultural extension to farmers. Other vital services have been outsourced to institutions and Private Company’s.
Security & Cleanliness
Security & Cleanliness of the Company is carried out by Rungwe Security Company Ltd.
Canteen services is carried out by Mshua Peace & Love Hotel.
In March 2019, the Company had a total of 1138 workers, of which 348 are permanents and 790 are daily paid employees. Out sourced services providers had a total of 108 workers. In total there was 1246.
At inception in October 2000, rehabilitation of the old Factory machinery was carried out, just to keep tea harvest going. Export of made tea through Mombasa auction began in July 2001 when quality to our teas had tremendous improvement.
Importation of new Factory machinery began after mid-2001. Installation was completed in early 2002. The third new processing line; troughs, panels, boiler were completed; its installation in mid – 2004, after realizing increase of green leaf from tea farmer. This move improved the quality of made tea.
Increase & Supplement
In the move to increase and supplement Greenleaf from farmers; the Company acquired 308 hectors – tea Estate (i.e. Rungwe & Kyimbila Estate) from Tukuyu Tea Estate in 2003. Estates contribute 10% to 15% of green leaf intake and the rest is supplied by out growers.
Now, Katumba Tea Factory is capable of producing in excess of 5,000tons of made tea per, or processing 160tons of Greenleaf per day. Mwakaleli Tea Factory is now capable of processing 30tons of Greenleaf per day. Space for expansion is available.
The business of tea at WATCO starts from buying Greenleaf from 15000 tea farmers, who own 3000 hectors with tea bushes.
Then, transporting to the factory, processing it into black tea and finally, selling to packers and exported through auction. A small proportion is exported on contract basis. Farmers are paid monthly after having reconciliation of Greenleaf receipts.
WATCO through RSTGA are Fair trade registered since 2002 whereas premiums go to village development projects (e.g. Schools, water projects, health centre and social services.)
WATCO has HIV/AIDS program at work place and to all 108 tea village & Institutions.
WATCO is implementing a social and environmental management systems and is Rainforest Alliance Certified since 2012.
PLANS IN PROGRESSWATCO'S FUTURE
- There are initiatives to diversify sources of revenue through growing Avocado and Macademia.
PLANS IN PROGRESSWATCO'S FUTURE
- There is now Rungwe Avocado Company which started in March 2009, initiated by WATCO, 6.06% of its shareholdings are of WATCO.