Kenya – Microlot – Mihuti – Rugi F.C.S. – Mukurwe-ini – AB \ B15444
Mihutu Factory was established in 1960 and is operated by the Rugi Farmer Cooperative Society, which has a total of 4,590 active members utilizing eight central processing facilities. The total hectares of land these farmers represent is only 579 hectares, which goes to show how small the average plot is.
The coffee is delivered in cherry form to the factory and depulped the day it's received. It's fermented overnight and then moved through water channels to be cleaned, soaked, and sorted by density. It is dried on raised beds for between 7–15 days, during which time it's constantly hand-rotated in order to maintain even dryness.
This cooperative society sets aside funds every harvest to be used as pre-financing for the producers, a credit system that is utilized through their marketing agent, Coffee Management Services (CMS). CMS also provides training and Good Practice seminars to members of the cooperative society.
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. Because of this system, which serves many hundreds to several thoughts of smallholder farmers per factory, there is limited traceability down to the individual producers whose coffee comprises the lots.
For more information about coffee production in Kenya, visit our Kenya page.