Coffee Pulping Project

Pulping Machines benefit more Specialty Coffee. Every year, Amigos finances much needed coffee pulping machines for the farmers of Olmedo and Chaguarpamba, province of Loja, Ecuador. This machine rids the coffee bean of its red (or yellow) cherry. This ‘wet-method’ of the ‘washed’ coffee results in a superior quality to ‘sun-dried’ coffee, which is dried with its cherry in tact, to be pulped later, when dry. Pulping, fermenting and washing coffee are important characteristics of a ‘Specialty Coffee’. The superior washed ‘parchment coffee’ fetches a higher price for the farmer, paid by Escoffee (about 20% higher than the minimum established Fair Trade price – for more detailed info see 100% PICO).

The pulping machines come from Colombia, and for a cherished Penagos machine a farming family pays $350. This is under the cost price of $392 (including transport) but this small subsidy of Amigos International makes the machine more affordable. The farmer pays back the machine in 2 years time, against 0% interest. This money will then be reinvested in more machines, because there are every year more and more families who realize the advantage of washed coffee, with its added value. The proud farmers are also happy that more high-value processed coffee is making the villages more famous in Ecuador, and in the World of Specialty Coffees of Origin.

Left: Elizabeth Ríos from Olmedo, one of the proud owners of a pulping machine. Right: Manuel Sánchez (center) of Escoffee and Jerome Kruft of Amigos International provide another machine to a farmer in Chaguarpamba.