This naturally processed batch comes from small farmers in Canika Hill, Kirundo Province in northern Burundi. Cafex was founded by a Belgian-Burundian couple who wanted to combine coffee production from their ancestral lands with sustainable development and the desire to improve the lives of the local population. It has developed a profitable business model for all parties based on mutual participation with farmers.
This batch is processed and exported by Ikawa Nziza and is the first dry mill in Burundi to produce specialty coffees, located at high altitude and specially designed to obtain high-quality small traceable micro-lots.
The Cafex station has positively impacted families in the region. The town where it is located is underdeveloped and its implementation allows men and women to find a job that gives them a better salary to improve their quality of life. Families with seasonal jobs have the opportunity to earn extra income that gives them access to healthcare or send their children to school. While many producers have to wait months for final payment for their harvest, Cafex has introduced a system of prompt weekly payment that allows them to earn a regular income throughout the harvest season.
Ripe cherries are picked daily and sun-dried on African beds for an average of 22h, turned every 2h during the initial days for even fermentation, and covered during the midday heat to prevent sun damage. Once optimum moisture levels are reached, the coffee is transported to the Ikawa Nziza dry mill in the Gashoho commune between the cities of Ngozi and Muyinga. Its location in an environment of high altitude and low humidity provides optimal conditions to preserve quality and therefore demand higher prices for farmers. From there, the processed coffee is picked by hand, packaged and trucked to Mombasa for shipment.
The operation of the washing station is a great challenge. Farmers work all day to hand-pick their cherries so they arrive at the washing station at sunset. Processing takes place at night while the reception of the cherries starts at dawn, which allows farmers to concentrate on providing the highest quality.