TODAY WE MEET WITH BRIDGET CARRINGTON, WHO IS THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF C DORMAN LTD IN NAIROBI, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF ONE OF EAST AFRICA’S MOST RENOWNED AND SUCCESSFUL EXPORTERS AND ROASTERS AND HEAR HER VIEWS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR REGIONAL INDUSTRY.
Dorman has been around for over 65 years. Can you tell us a bit of the history of the company?
C Dorman Ltd was established in 1950 by an Englishman, called Charles Dorman. He was a true pioneer of East African coffees, serving as the region’s Coffee Association Chairman as early as 1939. He married Ellen in 1945 and she carried on running the company after his death in 1960. In 1986, the small but highly-reputed export and roasting, company was bought by Jeremy Block, who over the next ten years transformed the company into the number one exporter and roaster in the region.
You have been working at Dorman for the past 24 years, what do you consider the most significant milestones in the company’s recent history?
Well, there have been many. The most important ones have hinged around our relationship building efforts with farmers to help build capacity and ensure the improvement in farmer livelihoods. We like to think of ourselves as being at the forefront of development of our industry. In the 1990s, we were the first company to build a private mill in Tanzania and enter into the business of parchment procurement when that industry liberalized. In Kenya we were the driving force behind the first certified UTZ and FLO coffees. Our preferred marketing agent and partner Coffee Management Services (CMS) is one of the regions leading agribusiness service providers. Together we work hard to promote sustainability and build farmer relationships, which has earned us the reputation of being second to none in the supply of specialty and sustainable coffees.
If I turn my attention to our Roasting Company, obviously our entry into the coffee shop business in 2004 was a milestone, likewise our exit ten years later. This venture aimed at promoting locally roasted coffee and domestic consumption. At the same time we pioneered the introduction of the Kenya National Barista Championship and established the region’s first coffee brewing training school, which has, significantly, helped raised the bar of the quality of regular and espresso based drinks.
For more on this article please visit Page 10 on this link here – http://www.eafca.org/downloads/newsletters/AfricanFineCoffeesReviewMagazineOct-Dec2015.pdf