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Gigante Central Wet-Mill

Improving coffee process for smallholder farmers

  • Company
  • Agriculture
  • Latin America
  • 2015
  • Active

The challenge

Coffee production is the largest source of livelihood in Colombia’s rural areas. The majority of smallholder farmers do the post-harvest process—known as wet milling—themselves.

Because the process is done by hand and without the proper facilities and drying sheds, farmers are forced to sell their coffee beans humid and at a discount to middle-men. Manual, inefficient coffee processes have prevented poor smallholder farmers in Huila from producing coffee at the volume and quality level demanded by international buyers to fetch premium prices.

The innovation

Gigante Central Wet-Mill’s state-of-the-art facility supports a local farmer’s association in consolidating and standardizing this process currently performed by hand by most growers.

The mill will buy coffee cherries directly from farmers and turn them into high-quality, sustainably-processed, export-grade coffee that can be sold at premium prices to large international buyers like Nespresso and SKN Caribecafe.

The impact

Gigante Central Wet-Mill will give farmers access to a world-class quality coffee processing facility and will connect them to global buyers so they can consistently earn more for the coffee they produce.

The company will provide farmers with a reliable cash flow at fair trade prices, as well as technical assistance and training. The company’s operations model will reduce growers’ working hours by up to 40 percent—this is important considering 65 percent of total producers in the area are women ages 45 to 60 and the head of their households.

Gigante Central Wet-Mill aims to impact over 300 smallholder farmer households, who live on less than $4 per day, in year one.