Farmers throughout the Chogoria area have been for years growing macadamia nut trees and selling the nuts to middlemen or nut companies. These are small farmers with some having only a few trees and other having many trees.
The problem has been that they have not received a fair price for the nuts. Often the price is so low that they do not bother to sell the nuts and just let them fall to the ground. Recently an organization called Ten Senses Africa, has organized the farmers in the Chogoria area into a fair trade cooperative. This program will pay the farmers a fair price under international fair trade guidelines. To date we have organized over 600 farmers to join the cooperative. Under fair trade guidelines, a fair price per kilo is set for the purchase of the macadamia nuts. The price can never go below this set price, but can be raised depending on market conditions.
The nuts are also processed in Kenya and then sold mainly in Europe and the United States, which allows more of the money to stay in Kenya.