Processing coffee to sell it at a fair price
Since november, we have started with the coffee harvest, which will last approximately two more months. This activity will trigger the employment of people in the communities during a short season, so, all the family concentrates their work in the coffe harvest.This year, there is a very good coffee production; it has become clear that, the restoration and maintenance work that has been carried out on the agroforestry systems of shade coffee plantations are giving good results.
The contrast between the conventionally managed coffee plantations and the agroecological coffee plantations with resources from this project is remarkable. In productive terms the yields are similar. However, in agroecological coffee plantations, healthier plants and better conserved soils are observed and the production costs are lower due to the decrease in the use of agrochemicals.
The theme of this period is the production process. Coffee has two industrial transformatios after harvesting. The first one is just after harvested the coffee cherry, in which the pulp or the coffee cherry is removed and the grain is dried. At this stage a pulper machine is used; frecuently this stage needs a lot of water to wash the grain. Then, the grain is dried and can be stored in sacks for several months. The second process is to take away a film of the grain, but it is done until it will be sold to the distributor or toaster.
For many years, coffee producers have sold their coffee in cherry, without giving any added value to their production, thus the producers receive only 6% of the price that the consumer pays. Nowadays there are growing the producers organizations that seek to appropriate the entire value chain. Several organizations have managed to open markets for small coffee producers and sell even roasted and ground coffee.
This year we are begining the first step in the value chain. 30 families have started selling quality coffee. To ensure quality we had several trainings on the wet coffee beneficiary. Although some producers have experience in pulping coffee, quality standards are increasingly demanding. Experienced producers are updating their knowledge and sharing them with the rest of the group, in which several women participate. For women, this is a new activity, since previously they did not participate in the coffee production process.
Likewise, the quality of each producer's coffee is being analyzed by a specialized laboratory through physical and flavor tests to find opportunities to improve quality.
En this stage and to continue with the agroecological process, ecological water-saving pulping machines are being tested to remove the pulp of the grain and solar dehydrators to dry the coffee.
As we informed you in the previous report, the group has already committed a part of its production, with a good price, however, we are still looking for fairer markets.
In this way, we continue to invite our donors to continue supporting this project that is allowing to find strategies for the dignified life and good living of the families of San Miguel Tlapexcatl and Limones in the municipality of Cosautlán, Veracruz, Mexico. We remind you that, due to the austerity policies of the current government, support for the peasant sector is restricted, so it is more than ever necessary the support and solidarity of independent donors, as do those who kindly already finance some actions of This project through the Gloval Giving Foundation platform.
Estudios Rurales y Asesoría Campesina A. C.
1. Fully Ripe Coffee Harvest
2. Coffee Processing Course
3. Ecological pulping machine
4. Pulping coffee with ecological machine
5. Solar dehydrator for coffee beans
6. Coffee samples to be analyzed