Gicherori factory was opened in 1997 and is operated by the Kibugu Farmers Cooperative Society (F.C.S.). There are around 1,050 smallholder farmer members, who deliver their cherry to the factory the same day it’s harvested.
It is depulped using a three-disc depulping machine after being sorted and separated. The coffee is fermented overnight, then washed using fresh water, and spread on raised beds to dry for 7–15 days.
Coffee in Kenya is typically traceable down to the factory, or mill level: Most farmers own between 1/8 to 1/4 of a hectare, and often grow crops other than coffee as well, which means they rely on a central processing unit for sale and processing of their coffee.
Producers deliver in cherry form to a factory, where the cooperative will sort, weigh, and issue payment for the delivery. The coffee is then blended with the rest of the day’s deliveries and goes on to be processed.
Years working with Axil:3