In the past, most farmers from La Laguna had to transport their coffee two hours to the city of San Pedro Sula to sell it to intermediaries. This transport is always expensive and requires a great deal of organisation. Moreover, the farmers are only able to sell a little at a time. It is therefore a major advantage for the coffee farmers to be able to deliver their coffee cherries to the nearby “Beneficio” in La Laguna for processing.
After the harvest, the coffee cherries have to be processed as soon as possible because overripe cherries can quickly rot, which has a negative effect on the taste of the coffee. For this reason, a “Beneficio” has to have enough capacity to remove the pulp from the beans and dry them. Because so many farmers were interested, the “Beneficio” in La Laguna soon reached the limits of its capacity and could no longer ensure proper processing.
Investment in machines
As part of our project, we provided financing for a mechanical dryer and an environmentally friendly pulper. This efficiently removes the pulp, so that the traditional washing process in the channel is no longer necessary. Water use can therefore be reduced by as much as 80%. This newly increased capacity will allow more farmers to benefit from the central processing facility and join the programme.
Danilo Trinidad Valle, or “Trino” as everyone calls him, is the best person to ask about the advantages of the new machines.
“The work has become much easier thanks to the new machines.”
I have a lot of experience in processing coffee. I’ve been working at the “Beneficio” for 10 years – I even helped set it up. The old machines kept having technical problems that made our work harder. But it has become much faster and more efficient now thanks to the new machines. Washing the beans in the channel used to take much longer and required a lot more water. Soon, I’m going to grow my own coffee and bring it here for processing.