This AB lot was produced by numerous smallholder farmers, all of whom are members of the Ruchu Gacharage Farmers Co-Operative Society delivering to Ruchu Coffee Factory (as washing stations/wet mills are called in Kenya). The factory is located near the town of Kandara, in Kenya’s Murang’a County.
Ruchu Gacharage FCS has a long history. They formed in 1961, even before Kenyan Independence. They operate 5 factories: Mukangu, Ruona, Gacharage, Kamichee and Ruchu with total membership of around 3,700 small scale coffee growers. Ruchu factory is in a good location, not too far from the mid-sized township or Kandara and overlooking the Ruchu River, from where it draws water for pulping and washing coffee. The factory itself is not large, but it is sufficient to serve the surrounding community. Currently the mill processes somewhere in the vicinity of 160 metric tonnes of coffee cherry annually.
Processing at the Ruchu wet mill adheres to stringent quality-driven methods. All coffee cherries are handpicked and are delivered to the mill the same day, where they undergo meticulous sorting. Factory employees oversee the process and any under-ripe or damaged cherries will not be accepted by the ‘Cherry Clerk’ – one of the most important harvest-period staff, who keeps meticulous records of how much coffee each producer delivers on any given day (and thus how much payment is due once the coffee has sold). Any rejected coffee will have to be taken home again, and the farmer will need to find a place to dry it (often a tarp in the yard) to be delivered only at the end of season as low quality ‘Mbuni’ – natural process coffee that earns a very low price. Thus, farmer members are incentivised to only pick and deliver the ripest cherry that they can…
Full details on product page.
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