Trader: Olam Specialty
Mill: Kirundo Mill
Region: Kirundo Province, North East Burundi
Grade: Grade 1
Altitude: 1450 – 1600 masl
Rainfall: 848mm avg per annum
Harvest: March – May
Soil: Red non-hydromorphic spodosols,
Ripe cherries (superior quality) are selected from daily pickings, and sun-dried on raised African beds, being turned every 2 hours for the initial days for even fermentation, and covered during the midday heat to prevent sun damage. Once optimum moisture levels have been reached, the coffee is transported for milling at Ikawa Nziza’s drymill in Gashoho commune between the towns of Ngozi and Muyinga. The mill is designed to cater to small, traceable microlots. Its location in a high altitude (1,730masl) and low humidity environment provides the optimal environment to preserve the quality of the coffee and therefore demand higher prices for farmers.
From there the processed coffee is handpicked, bagged in Grainpro and then trucked to Mombasafor shipment.
The Art of Production
Cafex was launched by a Belgian-Burundian couple that wanted to combine the coffee production of their ancestral lands with sustainable development and a desire to improve the lives of the local population.
Cafex has developed a profitable business model for all parties based on mutual participation with growers. The operation of the washing station is a huge challenge. Farmers work all day to handpick their coffee cherries, at sunset the coffee arrives at the cafex washing station. All workers of the station give the coffee their greatest care. The processing takes place at night, while the reception of the cherries takes place from sunrise until the early hours of the night, allowing farmers to focus on providing the highest quality.
The Cafex station has positively impacted families in the region. The town where the washing station is located is undeveloped and the implementation of the Cafex station allows men and women of the town to find a job that gives them a better salary to improve their quality of life. Families who have a seasonal job have the opportunity to receive an extra income that gives them access to medical care or allows them to buy books in order to send their children to school. Whereas many coffee producers have to wait many months to receive final payment for their harvest, Cafex has introduced a weekly payment to growers, with no delay. It allows them to have a regular income throughout the harvest coffee season.
This lot is milled and exported by Ikawa Nziza which began in 2013 as a partnership between the owners of Cafex mill and Schluter specifically aimed at building and promoting the specialty coffee production in Burundi. Ikawa Nziza’s mill is the first purpose-built specialty drymill in Burundi, designed to cater for high-quality microlot coffees.