Karogoto is a wet mill (also called a factory) situated near Karatina town in Nyeri, Kenya. It is one of four wet mills that are owned by the Tekangu farmers cooperative society. There are numerous wet mills in Nyeri, often just a few minutes' drive from one to another. The reason for this is that Nyeri is home to thousands of smallholder farmers that own on average 0,5 hectares of land where they typically grow coffee, maize, pasture, and other crops.
A farmer typically will pick her/ his coffee cherries and sell them to the nearest wet mill that is within walking distance. The cherries get bulked together before they are processed and dried by the staff on a cooperative wet mill and later sold to exporters at the weekly Kenyan coffee auction or directly to roasters.
All the coffees that are processed and dried at the Karogoto wet mill are produced by smallholder farmers that are members of the Tekangu Farmers Cooperative Society. Each farmer owns a small piece of land that contains their house and typically some livestock, coffee trees, and other food crops for selling or consuming. The farmer is free to sell his / her coffee cherries to whichever cooperative they chose, but in general, will go to the nearest wet mill as they often lack motorized transportation. It often becomes a question of which wet mill paid the most in your local area. All cooperatives are obliged to pay a minimum of 80% of the total selling price of the coffee to the farmers, the remaining 20% is to cover the management costs of the cooperative societies. However, a cooperative may pay more than 80% and the quality produced can vary greatly if the wet mill is not managed properly.