Certifications are essential to expand the market. SOPACDI has four certifications at the moment:
- Fair Trade Certification by FLO (ID 26275) since 2011
- Organic certification by ECOCERT CD-BIO-154 (ID 95102CD since 2012
- Utz certification (ID UTZ_CF1000007057) since 2016
- Farmers’ Symbol, SPP (ID (OPP-REP-17-001) since 2017
To maintain these certificates, the agronomy and certification service build the capacity of farmers at least twice a year on standards so that they and their plantations meet the standards for their rapid renewal. For organic certification and UTz, there is external inspection or audit.
Production and utilization of organic liquid and solid fertilizers
The need for soil amendment is being felt more and more in the region, contrary to the thinking of many smallholder farmers who believe that fertility is eternal or that it would only diminish by the curse of a deity or ancestors .
To provide producers with the knowledge gained from agronomist training through Agriterra in 2017 and 2018 on the production of solid bio-fertilizers (compost) and liquids; SOPACDI has set up a special service to deal with the question of soil amendment. Its mission is to identify the different plantations that require this amendment, to train members on the production and use of bio fertilizers and to follow field practice. This service has been operational since the beginning of the year 2019 and has already covered at least 6 sectors where trained members have manufactured and applied composts in their plantations.
Production of station and mini-washing stations more drying up
The production capacity of SOPACDI members is gradually increasing thanks to the actions of the agronomists. They are able to produce more than 40 Kivu3 coffee containers, more than 10 Kivu4 coffee containers and 10 Kivu 7 coffee containers, while others cooperatives only sells up to 20 Kivu 3 and 7 Kivu 4 containers according to their market which remain restricted. Members are obliged to sell about half of their production to other economic operators.
The production takes place in two seasons: the big season and the small season.
The big season runs from February / March to June / July while the short season usually goes from September to December. The cooperative buys the selected red cherries and processes them at its 4 stations and 3 mini-washing stations to have the parchment following a well defined treatment procedure to guarantee its best quality.
Generally, starting in May the parchment coffee is sent for the hulling, sorting and packing in bags in Goma / North Kivu by means of motorized vehicles and canoes. For the moment, SOPACDI uses the subcontracting of Ets Café Kivu for these parchment machining services.
The export usually starts from the month of May. The machining, sorting and packaging of a lot of Kivu 3 coffee (1 container of 19200kg) often takes 2 weeks while for Kivu 4 it was 3 weeks. In the same period, the logistics sends a pre-shipment sample to the buyer for approval and at the same time pursues export formalities and customs clearance.
According to the boarding instructions, transportation takes a week from Goma to Mombasa or Dar-es-Salam by a forwarder designated by the buyer or cooperative depending on whether it is FOT or FOB.
We pack coffee in just bags. We use grainPro at the customer’s request (to be specified in the contract).