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As a result of joint work between FNC, Cenicafé and USAID

  • The teaching material describes step by step the importance of the collection, pulp removal, fermentation, washing, drying and storage stages, all of which are key to producing highest quality coffee and ultimately raising profitability of producers.
  • “Only quality will give us the possibility of staying in such a competitive market. (…) This is one of those moments that change the history of Colombian coffee growers,” Roberto Vélez, the FNC CEO, said.

Bogotá, July 23, 2020 (FNC Press Office) – Colombian coffee growers have at their disposal a new guide to good post-harvest practices to produce washed coffee of the highest quality.

In four posters, the illustrated guide – very didactic and easy to understand –describes step by step a set of 17 good practices for the harvesting, pulp removal, fermentation, washing, drying, and storage stages, all of which are key to obtaining a high cup quality.

This guide for coffee microprocessors is the result of joint work between the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), the National Coffee Research Center (Cenicafé, its scientific branch), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through its operator in Colombia, Fintrac, as part of the “Coffee for Peace in Colombia” commercial strategy.

The guide describes the importance of harvesting fruits in optimal maturity (not green, semi-ripe or overripe), calibrating the pulping machine to obtain healthy beans (not bitten, unpulped or half pulped), determining the optimal time for washing after fermentation (with the help of the fermaestro tool), and using the gravimet gauge properly to know the optimal humidity of beans before storing.

Throughout post-harvesting, the guide emphasizes the impact of each of these good practices on cup quality, as ultimately it helps producers improve their income and therefore profitability.

An example of this is that if unripe beans are collected, an astringent flavor will be present in the cup, while dried fruits will result in the sour defect.

The guide was presented at a webinar with the participation of the FNC CEO, Roberto Vélez; its Chief Commercial Officer, Juan Camilo Ramos; the director of Cenicafé, Álvaro Gaitán; Dennis Lesnick, Director of the USAID Business Partnership Program; Jennifer Tikka, Director of the Rural and Economic Development Office in Bogotá, and Javier Giraldo, USAID Deputy Director of the Business Partnership Program.

“Only quality will give us the possibility of staying in such a competitive market. (…) This is one of those moments that change the history of Colombian coffee growers,” the FNC CEO, Roberto Vélez, said.

“All this work is framed within the strategy of profitability of coffee farming and that of the FNC Technical Division ‘More agronomy, more productivity, more quality.’ (…) Something key in these posters is the impact (of good practices) on cup quality,” the Cenicafé director said.

“We highlight the joint work with Cenicafé and the FNC for the four modules of good post-harvest practices. (…) It is an immense pride to present this good practices guide for coffee microprocessors,” Lesnick said. “USAID will continue contributing to development of Colombian coffee farming,” Tikka noted.

FNC-USAID, a partnership that works

Under an agreement signed in 2018, the USAID Business Partnership Program (which operates in Colombia since 2017) and the FNC have developed the sound commercial strategy “Coffee for Peace in Colombia,” based on implementing best agricultural practices and focused on improving harvest and post-harvest processes through the microprocessor program.

This program is a methodology to train small producers in 17 sequential and crucial steps that improve coffee quality as a means of accessing specialized markets.

As support tools for transfer of knowledge to producers, the four posters that make up this educational material were structured under strict technical guidelines and jointly prepared by the USAID Business Partnership Program and Cenicafé.

The four-poster guide, written in Spanish, is available on this link.