Blossom - Burundi
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3113 smallholders near the Nemba washing station in the Kayanza region of Burundi
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Notes of Plum, Strawberry and Cherry
Nemba station lies in the northern province of Kayanza. Each washing station is managed and lead by an agronomist. This agronomist oversees the implementation of good agricultural practice and farmer education. They collaborate with the producers to ensure they have access to the necessary farming tools. The agronomist also helps farmers determine and implement the practices best suited to the specific growing conditions of their farming plots.
Nemba uses a monitoring system to ensure traceability all along the production and processing chain. All 3,000+ producers are smallholders who own an average of 150 coffee trees. The farms delivering cherry to Nemba are all located around 1,700+ meters above sea level, near the Kibila forest. The washing station has over two hundred drying tables and can process up to 750 metric tons of coffee cherry annually.
Nemba also participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects include a goat and pig project, Farmer Hub, strengthening cooperatives and distributing fertilizer and coffee trees.
During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely by the family. Greenco knows that even small distances can be time consuming and expensive to travel for smallholder farmers, and they know that receiving cherry immediately after harvest is crucial to quality. Therefore, smallholders can bring their cherries either directly to a washing station or to one of the 12 collection sites situated throughout growing areas. Farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry regardless of where they bring their cherries. In this way, farmers are not disadvantaged due to their location and Greenco bears the cost of transport to stations.
Quality assurance begins as soon as farmers deliver their cherry. All cherry is floated in small buckets as a first step to check its quality. Greenco still purchases floaters (damaged, underripe, etc) but immediately separates the two qualities and only markets floaters as B-quality cherry. After floating, the higher quality cherry is sorted again by hand to remove all damaged, underripe and overripe cherries.
Cherry is laid in thin layers on raised tables where it is turned frequently to enable even drying. Cherry is covered when it rains, during the hottest part of the day and overnight.