Cherries are grown and gathered in the high hills of the Sehe. There are around 1,500 coffee farmers collecting ripe cherry from the Sehe region to be processed at various collection points.
Salum Ramadhan founded Coffee Processing Company in 2010 with the goal of improving the quality of life for the very smallholder producers in the Kayanza and Cibitoke provinces. CPC operates four washing stations, including Sehe and Shembati (which we’re shared previously).
He offers a premium price for farmers in exchange for high quality coffee and for delivering only ripe cherries to his washing stations. He’s also investing in social and environmental projects such as education in the local areas, ponds for waste water etc.
Competition in the area can be fierce but by keeping his prices consistently high, farmers are financially encouraged to select only premium and ripe cherry. Cherries are sorted by hand and through floatation, and only ripe cherries are transported down the mountains to the washing station.
Salum Ramadhan’s washing stations have a solid reputation for producing exceptionally clean and top quality coffee.
Salum sees a lot of value in supporting the local communities. He also has an environmental focus with a recycled water program and operates a small local transport business to assist with various collection points across the country. He’s creating employment, has built infrastructure for the locals, giving out seedlings, has donated land for a school as well as supported it financially.
This, together with the premiums and second payments for the coffees, is to encourage the farmers to increase the quality in their farms and pick better cherries during harvest. And that will again be beneficial to all of us.
Honey process at Sehe
At Sehe they select the highest quality cherries for their honey process as it’s a relatively complicated process in their climate, particularly early in the harvest season when there’s a lot of rain.
The cherries are separated by soaking and are hand sorted before going to production – after this they’re de-pulped before being graded to three grades by density where only the first grades from the denser beans goes to Honey production. After pulping and grading they still have all the mucilage left, which would be referred to as black honey in other regions such as Costa Rica.
They are then dried under shade in a medium thick layer for the first 1-2 days. They’re then moved out in the sun, and covered again at night.
After the first few days they start to lose the ‘sticky’ parchment layer and the cherries are raked so they don’t stick to each other. After around 20 days drying in the sun on raised beds, they’re ready for sorting for defects and transport.