Cafea verde BS - KENYA Slopes of 8 (Kirinyaga) AB outturn 21KB1017 5KG

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Cafea verde BS - KENYA Slopes of 8 (Kirinyaga) AB outturn 21KB1017 - Microlot 1KG

Cantitate: 5 Kg

Disponibilitate: in stoc

Crop: 2019/2020

COFFEE GRADE: KENYA AB Microlot

FARM/COOP/STATION: Slopes of 8 Group

VARIETY: Batian

PROCESSING: Fully washed

ALTITUDE: 1,700 to 1,900 meters above sea level

OWNER: 8 small & medium Estate owners in Kirinyaga County

SUBREGION/TOWN: Various

REGION: Kirinyga County

FARM SIZE: 5-15 hectares on average

AREA UNDER COFFEE: 5-15 hectares on average

Kenya

Slopes of 8 AB - Kirinyaga

The Slopes of 8 was the pioneering producer group in our Farm-to-roaster sourcing model in Kenya. This model focuses on shortening the coffee value chain for smallholder coffee producers in the country, and as a result, empowering the producers. In this model, independent producers enter an agreement with our in-country partners, who provide them with technical, logistical, financial and commercial support day-by-day. They deliver the coffee to the Kahawa Bora dry mill for milling, QC and export preparation. The coffee is then sold to us with transparent, farm-return pricing.

The Slopes of 8 was the pioneering producer group in our Farm-to-roaster sourcing model in Kenya. This model focuses on shortening the coffee value chain for smallholder coffee producers in the country, and as a result, empowering the producers. In this model, independent producers enter an agreement with our in-country partners, who provide them with technical, logistical, financial and commercial support day-by-day. They deliver the coffee to the Kahawa Bora dry mill for milling, QC and export preparation. The coffee is then sold to us with transparent, farm-return pricing. 

Since we want to support this group as much as we can, we buy their entire production. This way, they manage to sell their entire production with good revenue, instead of just a section to coffee shoppers passing by. As usual, the Slopes of 8 coffees come in AA, AB and PB bean selections. Next to the classic higher scoring AA, AB and PB lots, this year you will find the C grade on our list. This lot has smaller beans with a distribution over screen 13 and 15. These get separated from the larger screens in the dry mill, just before export. 

Every year, the producers gain experience and knowledge from the previous year. With the year to year direct returns, the farm owners can invest in the farm and better processing infrastructure.

Cultivation

The small and medium estate sector in Kenya has, until now, been frequently overlooked. Especially when it comes to dry milling, small estate owners have found themselves unable to mill their parchment and maintain traceability, which lowers their overall returns and removes potential for name recognition and direct-trade relationship. They've also not received the agronomic support that they often need. 

Our sister company, Kahawa Bora/Sucafina Kenya have helped change all this. Small to medium estate owners, such as the Slopes of 8 group, receive regular visits, access to agricultural inputs and advice regarding a wide range of practices - from pruning, to fertilization to erosion control. With this support, they improve agricultural practices, and thus yeilds and coffee quality.

Harvest & Post-Harvest

The Slopes of 8 coffee is processed following the traditional Kenyan method of 24-hour fermentation, washing and final soaking. In the case of these eight farmers, the processing was done on a much smaller scale than in the cooperative system with the large factories, on equipment they have in their own yards. Depending on weather conditions, the parchment takes around 14 days to be properly dried on the raised tables they built themselves. The producers get support during all steps of the production process from Wycliffe, agronomist and most experienced Kenyan coffee expert.

The Slopes of 8 project groups eight farmers on neighboring hills on the slopes of Mount Kenya in Kirinyaga county. They were selected for this project, based on a selection of criteria from our in-country partner’s team of agronomists. The cherries from these eight farmers were processed at the facilities on their own land instead of at a central wet mill, where normally all production from various farmers is processed together. Also at the Kawaha Bora dry mill, the lots were kept separate. Kenyacof bought the lot directly from them, bypassing the auction, so the return the farmers would be larger. They don’t have to pay the milling and marketing fees to the cooperative, which means a huge saving on the direct return. 

We strongly promote this collaboration in Kenya, because it gives more power, control and recognition to the producers. In this structure, more money flows back directly to them. 

The idea of being part of a group of farmers is slightly different from participating in a big Cooperative Society. In a small unit like this, the number of farmers combining their coffees is much smaller while the focus on and control of quality is better.

AB Grade

Kenyan coffees are classified by size. AB beans are those that are between screen size 15 and 18 meaning that beans are between 6 and 7 millimeters in size. 

Sucafina in Kenya

Kahawa Bora Millers is operated by our sister company, Kenyacof/Sucafina Kenya. The mill opened in July 2018 in Thika, Central Kenya and finances, supports and mills a wide range of coffee qualities. The focus of the mill is to be a service provider offering micro-milling for small estates and individual growers across Kenya. 

Kahawa Bora recognizes the importance of cultivating supportive relationships with coffee farmers and roasters, alike. The mill provides crucial services for the farmers and cooperatives with whom they work. They provide key agricultural extension work, helping farmers improve the health of their crops, increase productivity and ensure the best possible quality. They also support innovation in the small estate sector.

Kahawa Bora also, more generally, lends their own expertise in quality processing to their clients, providing feedback and contributing to their knowledge of processing methods and evolving market demand.

Most small estate owners do not typically produce enough coffee to fill 50 bags with parchment beans, the smallest quantity mills will generally process. Before Kahawa Bora was established, mills and marketing agents would have to blend smaller lots from multiple estates before bringing it to the mill. This meant that coffee from small estates was often anonymized, which could also limit payment for recognition or quality.

Before operating their own mill, our sister company solved this problem by blending lots from approximately 4-8 producers living in the same area —such as with our Slopes of 8 coffees. This method also allowed producers to maintain the identity behind their coffee and gave them collective control over price expectations. Kahawa Bora’s microlot program is one more option that producers can choose along this vein.

With the purchase of the Kahawa Bora mill, it is now even easier to keep traceability intact all the way from the individual farmer who grew the lot through to the roaster. Thanks to the mill, small estate owners can receive larger payouts for to their high-quality production and link their name to their coffees for consumers to see.

For farmers, having their name and life story connected to their coffee, which is then purchased and seen by the end user, can bring many benefits. It means that they can nurture long-term relationships with roasters and increase the value of their product. For roasters, connecting  farmers’ stories to the coffees they grew can create a stronger customer interest for specific coffees, added value and demand, and help finance successful long-term relationships with farmers.  

Coffee in Kenya

Though coffee growing had a relatively late start in Kenya, the industry has gained and maintained a impressive reputation. Since the start of production, Kenyan coffee has been recognized for its high-quality, meticulous preparation and exquisite flavors. Our in-country sister company, Kenyacof/Sucafina Kenya, works with farmers across the country to ensure these exceptional coffees gain the accolades they deserve.

Today, more than 600,000 smallholders farming fewer than 5 acres compose 99% of the coffee farming population of Kenya. Their farms cover more than 75% of total coffee growing land and produce nearly 70% of the country’s coffee. These farmers are organized into hundreds of Farmer Cooperative Societies (FCS), all of which operate at least one factory. The remainder of annual production is grown and processed by small, medium and large land estates. Most of the larger estates have their own washing stations.

Most Kenyan coffees are fully washed and dried on raised beds. The country still upholds its reputation for high quality and attention to detail at its many washing stations. The best factories employ stringent sorting practices at cherry intake, and many of them have had the same management staff in place for years.

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