Oreti, meaning "a place of danger and raw beauty" in Maori language (the original founders came from New Zealand), is located in the Thika Plateau in Kenya, where the Harries family have been since 1904. Boyce Harries is the fourth-generation member of the family and currently owns and operates the coffee farm, overseeing the harvest, processing and between-season activities of over 180 hectares. Mr. Harries uses the traditionally washing process for his cherries although he is currently experimenting with natural honey processing. Coffee tree management is very different from what we have seen in Latin America, with big trunks at the base and three young offshoots sprouting from it. This means the original tree is never replaced, instead it is regularly pruned.
The permanent staff is multigenerational, many have worked up to three generations with the Harries family. The homes provided by Mr Boyce and his family have clean water and electricity standard, as well as numerous extra facilities such as a social hall, nursery school, and a homework room. The employees form a self-elected committee which meets monthly to raise and discuss social, welfare, safety, and health matters. The Harries family is also extremely active in the local community, co-founding the Wabeni Technical Institute, which seeks to teach underprivileged children practical skills.
We have been wondering about the reason behind the original Maori name. The conclusion we have reached has probably something to do with the stunning natural exuberance Kenya boasts - unique wildlife, Africa's highest mountains, and its beautiful people. Kenya feels like being to the mother nature’s cradle, a rousing experience.