Last week we discussed in more detail our project, which is to evaluate drivers of the economic viability of a centralized wet mill for coffee. Wet-milling consists of the first of several processing steps in coffee production that happens right after harvesting the coffee cherries; this includes de-pulping, fermentation, washing and drying the coffee beans. Jordan and I have prepared questionnaires for coffee farmers and operators running existing wet-mills. Many farmers in the region around Tingo Maria do not have access or do not use a central wet-mill, but process the coffee cherries at home or close to their fields.

On Thursday, we visited a fair just outside Lima, where we had the chance to taste locally manufactured food. TNS also had set-up a stand promoting chocolate producers from the San Martin region. We were told that the increasing local chocolate manufacturing has also increased local demand (despite the hot weather), which was no surprise to us as they taste great.

Friday morning Jordan and I flew out to Tingo Maria for our first field visits during the next two weeks. The climate here is tropical, humid and hot during the day, but it cools down during the night. The mountainous tropical forest around the town is scenic. After getting to know the office and most of the staff on Friday, we were invited to see the waterfalls close to ‘Tingo’ which are beautiful. On Saturday morning and on Monday we conducted our first interviews with farmers and plant operators. The TNS colleagues have been very helpful and supportive taking us to farms, fields and plants as well as explaining to us the details of the processes. The interaction with the farmers and operators was very interesting and insightful, as we have received a range of opinions on the topic and were able to filter out some data points for our analysis.

Coffee beans laid out for drying on the side of the road

The Volunteer

Kai Friemel

Senior Associate, Client Facing - Germany/Austria

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