Green Dreams ltd started in 2000 on 10 beautiful acres in Tigoni. It was founded by Su Kahumbu Stephanou, a self taught organic farmer passionate about conservation and the environment.
Initially producing it’s own products and supplying Nairobi consumers, it soon became apparent that a larger supply chain was needed and by 2004 a training component for out growers was developed which enabled the company to expand further including the start up of a Box Scheme delivering produce directly to consumers homes.
During the early days, Su was involved with the local national organic network the Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), encouraging and supporting the industry at grass root level and sitting on the committee that produced the Kenya National Organic Standards. In 2005 Green Dreams was the first certified local farm for local markets in the country.
Between the years of 2005 to 2007 Green Dreams has helped develop the Kenyan organic sector by concentrating on developing a wide diversity of products and consequently teaching rural farmers how to produce for commercial markets. The product range grew to include organic poultry as well as dairy .
In 2006 Green Dreams constructed and put in management of a dairy and processing facility on Brackenridge Dairy Farm one of Kenya’s oldest Jersey farms. The farm under GD management is the only certified dairy farm in the country and produces a range of Probiotic dairy products.
Su all the while has also been writing a help line page answering farmers queries on organic production in The Organic Farmer (TOF) magazine, a monthly publication freely distributed to over 17,000 rural organic farmers in Kenya. TOF also funded a Green Dreams led training support program for over 100 farmers in July 2006.
Green Dreams Ltd has been instrumental in promoting organic production and consumption and awareness in Kenya. Farmer groups, institutions and school groups regularly visit the farm and are given a customised educational tour
On Sept 2nd Green Dreams opened the first organic store in Nairobi in Gigiri Shopping Centre. Eleven months later, in Aug 2007 a second addition was opened in Nakumatt Westgate, bringing organic produce from the countries organic producers, to the supermarket consumers.
Farmers producing for the Green Dreams supply chain realise from 40 to 200% premiums on their products. Green Dreams is also divesting it’s interest in it’s production units and offering the opportunity to it’s long standing staff members to take part in a profit share package. Plans for 2008 include teaching farmers value addition as well as expanding local and export export markets for their products.
Insecurity (post electoral conflict) coupled with early morning school runs, finally made Su decide to leave the Tigoni farm in March 2008. The farm has however been taken over by one of her outgrowers and continues to supply the Green Dreams outlets in Nairobi.
Green Dreams ltd is currently merging with Food Network East Africa with the intention of forming the largest organic platform in East Africa, warehousing and wholesaling into the regional markets as well as expanding it’s stores locally. The company will also act as a lauching pad for new eco producers, offering marketing and distribution channels within the region as well as export.