After 5 Years: Improving Coffee Quality, Farming & Processing
June will mark the 5th year since we founded International Coffee Farms (ICFC) in Panama.
It’s cliché to say that the time has flown by, but it really has.
When we look at what we started with, which was an idea, no staff and no farms.
To where we are now with 12 coffee farms, 49 staff, a fully operational coffee processing mill and laboratory, proprietary nursery and a specialty coffee and chocolate shop!
We have made considerable progress over the years in building our Asset column. That has been happening steadily over the 5 years, beginning with our first farm acquisition January 2015.
Where we had to be patient was seeing progress in the Quality and Quantity of the end product..our Specialty Coffee!
Mother Nature won’t be rushed and most of our farms were raw land when acquired.
The few producing farms we bought had old coffee trees past their peak and we needed 4 to 5 years to rehab them.
That’s OK, we knew that, and our parcel Owners knew that.
The exciting part of 2019 and 2020 is that we are now starting to see the fruits of our 5 years of considerably hard work.
(You will only truly understand how passive an investment this turned out to be for you as investors, when you spend a week in Panama running a coffee farming company!)
In the 2015/16 harvest we had a few thousand pounds of coffee that were processed by hand.
In the 2016/17 harvest we contracted the job out to a local mill.
By the 2017/18 harvest we had our own wet & dry coffee processing mill built and fully operational, on site. This allowed us to keep complete control over the post-harvest process and added traceability to our brand.
But the mill had just been built and there were some adjustments to make and tweaks needed so we ended up with a high level of defects in our beans. Almost 30%.
Now with the 2018/19 harvest coming to an end and with another year under our belts we are very proud to say that we have the level of defects down to 4%. The industry average is 8 to 10%.
Progress. Slow and steady. Improving year on year.
The Quality of our coffee is improving year on year. To a stage now where we are not far off having some “Competition Grade” batches of coffee on our hands…more on that later!
We are also developing our name and our brand, which is equally as important as the cupping score on your coffee. Coffee roasters pay for Quality, but they also pay for reliability and reputation.
All 3 of which we are improving year on year.
The team in the coffee testing laboratory is constantly experimenting with different ways to process our coffee. As an example, we have added a significant amount of Natural processed coffee this year.
We did so because #1 the market was looking for Natural and #2..our Natural is awesome!
We have started attracting interest via the newly revamped and “coffee oriented” International Coffee Farms website, from green coffee buyers and coffee roasters from around the globe. With discussions ongoing with buyers from USA, Dubai, the UK, Czech Republic and the Ukraine to name a few.
Now our farm tours are being taken up by green coffee buyers and not only by real estate investors.
A nice sign that we are moving in the right direction towards being a fully-fledged specialty coffee and specialty agriculture company.
Now that’s what we call progress!
If you have read this far then you must like what you see!
If you wish to participate in this exciting adventure, we have coffee farm parcels available right now.
Contact me for details.
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