In the 1980s, most of the huge co-op societies broke up. Othaya, however, remained somewhat intact. It still encompasses 17 wet mills across Nyeri. Among the smaller sub-co-ops still associated with Othaya are two of our favorites: Kamoini and Gura.
Gura draws upon the expertise and resources of their larger umbrella society of Othaya. For instance, Othaya maintains a quality control lab and a small staff in Nyeri City. That helps market Gura coffee to buyers–especially buyers without the inclination to drive into the country for hours a day to visit smaller co-ops (like Gura).
We, on the other hand, are always happy to visit the members of Gura. When they were considering major overhauls on their mills in 2017, we stood together in the sunset, sharing photos of coffee-drying beds from around the world. It was a trans-continental nerd-fest, to put it mildly.
It’s not that we think our way is better for everyone. We don’t. And it’s not that we wish all of the old mega-societies should have stayed together. For the most part, we’re glad they didn’t. But in this one case, the case of the Gura co-op within the Othaya Society, we like things exactly the way they are.
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