Notes:Toffee, jammy blueberry, lime, tropical juicy, delicate, on a win
Varietal: SL-28, Ruiru 11, Batian
Kenya Gathiathi AB
Gathaithi Farmer’s Cooperative Society is located at Gaki location, Gathaithi sub-location,Tetu sub-county in Nyeri County. At 160 km north of Nairobi, you will find the factory sandwiched between the elegant Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare ranges, putting it at a vantage point of better production.
Gathaithi farmers’ cooperative society was registered under the cooperative society act of 2000. It was formerly part of the Giant Tetu coffee farmer’s society. This cooperative has only one factory – Gathaithi coffee factory. Currently, it has 1,656 active members. The Gathaithi factory was the overall winner of the 2016/17 'Best of Dormans' quality competition, as voted by an international panel on importers and roasters.
SOILS AND CLIMATE
Gathaithi Coffee Factory is dressed with red-volcanic soil that infuses it with all the mineral and organic goodness necessary for optimum production. It experiences an annual rainfall of 1,100mm at 1,720m above sea level. In addition it enjoys cool temperatures of 16-26°C.
Gathaithi farms have two cropping seasons: Late crop starting at the end of September to mid-January contributing 70%, and early crop starting from April to July and contributing 30% of the total annual production. This factory has SL 28 and SL 34 variety of 95%, Ruiru 11% and Batian of 1%.
Gathaithi is currently producing 60 tonnes of clean coffee per year with a potential of producing 120 tonnes annually.
Harvesting is carried out by careful hand selection when the coffee cherries are perfectly ripe and is delivered to the Gathaithi wet mill the very same day. Cherry sorting is carried out to ensure only the very best cherries are used and inferior quality cherries removed.
After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before traveling through channels to the soaking tank where the coffee is carefully cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables.
Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and total production volume undergoing processing. Drying can take from 7 to 15 days in total. Continuous sorting and hand turning of the parchment takes place throughout the drying process.
From funds set aside from the previous year’s harvest, members of the cooperative can access pre-financing for school fees, access to farm inputs and funds for emergency needs.
The factory is receiving assistance from a field partner- Coffee Management Services (CMS).
The long term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, ready access to inputs, Good Agricultural Practice seminars, and providing the most current printed materials on sustainable farming. By paying the producers some of the highest returns for their coffee this objective becomes more possible.
In line with the rising awareness on the need to conserve the environment, the factory has dug the waste water soak pits away from the water source where the waste water is allowed to soak in back to the soil. Currently the factory does not engage in waste water treatment. Additionally the society encourages its members to plant trees on their farms.
Gathaithi Coffee factory is run by a factory manager who oversees all activities within the factory. Together with other staff members they carry out duties such as weighing coffee, selection and grading of coffee, paying farmers and addressing farmers’ complaints.
In addition to coffee, common crops grown are banana and maize. Grevillea or macadamia trees are also planted to provide shade to the growing coffee trees.
Currently the factory offers farm inputs on credit and cash advances to farmers as incentives.
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