|Flavor profile||Orange zest, Chocolate truffle, Blackberry, Dried plum|
|Producers||2,667 smallholder farmers|
|Altitude||1500 - 1800 masl|
|Omni||perfect balanced for espresso and filter extractions|
There are 2,685 smallholders living around Gatara, Burundi who deliver their cherry to Gakenke washing station. We are excited to import this coffee from our in-country partner Greenco. In addition to operating 13 washing stations in Burundi and processing excellent coffee, Greenco is also working with communities to increase farmer livelihoods and general equality in coffee producing areas.Gakanke CWS was built in 1991. With 224 drying beds, the station can process up to 750 metric tonnes per season. The station has 2 flotation tanks, 10 fermentation tanks, and 2 soaking tanks. The drying field has 150 raised beds.
Gakenke CWS has 2,685 registered farmer members, spread over 22 hills in Gatare commune, Kayanza province. These are organized in groups of 30 people, headed by a producer leader to facilitate communication and organisation with the washing station. The farmers typically have an average of 250 trees. In Burundi, wet mills can typically reach farmers in a radius of 3km. If the washing station is located too far away, farmers will sell to middlemen, often at a disadvantage. To prevent this, Gakenke and other Greenco CWS have 12 collection centres. These centres allow them to reach farmers at up to nine kilometres distance from the wet mill without compromising the quality.
Gakenke CWS participates in a number of farmer outreach and support projects include a goat and pig project, Farmer Hub, strengthening cooperatives and distributing fertilizer and coffee trees. Most coffee trees in Burundi are Red Bourbon. Because of the increasingly small size of coffee plantings, aging rootstock is a very big issue in Burundi. Many farmers have trees that are over 50 years old, but with small plots to farm, it is difficult to justify taking trees entirely out of product for the 3-4 years it will take new plantings to begin to yield. In order to encourage farmers to renovate their plantings, Greenco purchases seeds from the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), establishes nurseries and sells the seedlings to farmers at or below cost. At the washing station, farmers can also get organic fertiliser from composted coffee pulp.
Despite the ubiquity of coffee growing in Burundi, each smallholder producers a relatively small harvest. The average smallholder has
approximately 250 trees, normally in their backyards. Each tree yields an average of 1.5 kilos of cherry so the average producer sells about
200-300 kilos of cherry annually.
During the harvest season, all coffee is selectively hand-picked. Most families only have 200 to 250 trees, and harvesting is done almost entirely
by the family. Greenco knows that even small distances can be time consuming and expensive to travel for smallholder farmers, and they know
that receiving cherry immediately after harvest is crucial to quality. Therefore, smallholders can bring their cherries either directly to a central
washing station (CWS) or to one of the 12 collection sites situated throughout growing areas. Farmers are paid the same for their quality cherry
regardless of where they bring their cherries. In this way, farmers are not disadvantaged due to their location and Greenco bears the cost of
transport to CWS’s.
RFA stands for Rainforest Alliance, a certification system that emphasizes climate-smart agriculture. RFA farms have at least 40% of land covered in
canopy, significant species diversity (at least 12 native tree species per hectare, on average) and a system of natural vegetation buffers between
agricultural land and bodies of water. The farms also use organic fertilizers.