May 22, 2023

A Visit to Brown’s Farm and Cheese Factory

Shailja Sharma

Share it!

Demand for dairy products is growing in Low to Middle-income countries (LMICs). It is driven by population growth, rising incomes, and changing lifestyles. Additionally, milk production is an important livelihood source for smallholder dairy farmers in Kenya.

On Friday, 12th May 2023, the 2023 cohort of the Global CEO (GCEO) Programme from Strathmore University Business School (SBS) that drew participants from Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, enjoyed a visit to Brown’s Cheese Factory and Farm. Nestled in the picturesque tea plantations of Tigoni, the farm operates on organic principles and has a positive impact on the surrounding community. The farm offers high quality artisan cheeses, made from pasteurized cow and goat’s milk using vegetarian rennet. The cheese is ripened naturally and no artificial ingredients are added. Milk for the cheese is collected from 5,000 local, cooperative farmers. The belief that people should be eating locally and that wholesome foods that nourish the body, heal the earth, and sustain the land for future generations is at the core of the business. Brown’s have embarked on a journey to push the boundaries in Kenya and change the dairy industry. They have worked hard to get some of their farms certified organic, ensuring that farmers are able to trace all farm inputs and become sustainable. The business has expanded its dairy range to include a wide range of artisan cheeses, organic milk, yoghurt, and ice cream. They also offer other products including crackers, jams, and spreads.

The participants were treated to a tour of the Cheese Factory and were impressed by the efforts made by the Farm to educate consumers on cheese production, organic farming methods, supporting local growers and producers and the history and evolution of the business. Brown’s Cheese Factory was started in 1979 by David and Sue Brown. A ban on imported cheese and only one local manufacturer in the country spurred the couple to start making cheese. The couple later sold the business to their daughter and her husband who have taken the business to new heights selling their cheese regionally across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and internationally in Dubai, the US, and India.

The GCEO cohort also had the pleasure of meeting the current owner, Delia Stirling, who runs the business with her husband Andy. Delia shared her passion for organic farming and helping the community of farmers sustain their livelihoods. Following the recent drought that crippled many farmers in Kenya, Delia has been actively promoting farming methods that can help farmers withstand environmental shocks. She is also educating chefs around the country to use ancient grains such as sorghum and millet that are not only healthy but are also more resistant to climate change thus ensuring local communities remain profitable. The GCEO cohort enjoyed sampling the various products followed by a sumptuous lunch that showcased the nutritious, ancient grains that have the potential to improve agribusiness practices and livelihoods in the country.

The company is indeed a catalyst for change in the industry as it aligns its commercial success with driving sustainable food cycles, educating consumers about natural and organic food, and supporting and training local smallholder farmers. Her entrepreneurial journey is inspiring and her efforts are paying off. Consumers are hungry for cheese produced with a limited list of ingredients and from more sustainable supply chains. Delia’s focus on constant product development, ability to innovate, and adapt to environmental changes as well as her passion for community impact has resulted in the success that Brown’s Cheese Farm enjoys today.

Article by Shailja Sharma, SBS Faculty member and Leadership and Career Coach

Would you like to share an article? Write to us at

Your Content Goes Here

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Explore our Programme Calendar

Explore our
Academic and Executive Educations
Programmes Portfolio

Explore our SBS Customized Solutions
for Organizations

Go to Top