Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Harvest Time

The coffee berries are getting ripe, but the Cooperative still doesnt have a functional beneficio. The beneficio is supposed to start processing the coffee next week, but there is still a lot of coffee to be processed in the mean time.

Coffee has to be processed within 24 hours of harvesting. This makes coffee a difficult crop to deal with as it adds a great deal of transportation costs. Every day the ripe beans have to picked and taken to the local beneficio (processing plant). The beneficio washes and removes the skins of the beans so they can be dried and stored for roasting at a later date.

Since the Coopabuena beneficio closed down two years ago, the new cooperative (Coopepueblos) has been without a beneficio, taking the raw berries to be processed by the nearest beneficio in Sabalito (13 km away). This added alot of costs to last years harvest. This year UCSC researchers, Karen Holl and Rebecca Cole, loaned the cooperative $6000 of the $10,000 needed to buy a micro-beneficio. It arrived a few weeks ago, and the cooperative has been hard at work getting it ready for this years harvest. It should be up and running by next week.

Este beneficio es puro columbiano!

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