Just 500 meters outside the rural center of Karatina sits this factory of the same name. The Karatina Factory is the oldest in the region with coffee processing beginning in 1957 under the then mega Cooperative Mathira F.C.S. in 1996 after the split of Mathira it be came one of four factories managed by the Barichu Farmers Cooperative society. Karatina is run by a factory manager and 2 supervisory members who oversee the delivery and processing an average or 500,000kg of coffee between October and January. This cherry is contributed by around 1000 active members, most of them from small plots averaging .5 acres or 250 trees.
While the farmers do not practice inter-cropping they do grow macadamia, bananas, maize and beans on other fields under supervision of the field committee & the BarichuCoop.The Coop works to give the farmers credit facilities for school fees, farm input and other emergencies. They also house a nursery which serves the whole society providing matured seedlings to help reduce drops in production/income for farmers. To help educate farmers on Crop Husbandry and other agricultural practices key for quality the Co-op has a demonstration plot financed by Tropical Management.
Cooperative Factories: 4 (Karatina, Gatomboya, Gaturiri, Karindundu)
Active Members: 972 Farmers
Production (kg of cherry): 500,000
Average Farm Size: 250 trees
Average Rainfall: 1300 mm per year. March/April (long rains) and November/December (short rains)
Temperature Range: 18–24° Celsius
Soils: Red volcanic soils.