PU’ER, CHINA, February 22, 2023 – Sucafina, a leading sustainable Farm to Roaster coffee company, has opened an innovative and significant wet mill in Yunnan, China. The wet mill is located near Pu’er in the heart of the coffee-producing areas near Sucafina’s lab and offices.
“The mill is the largest and most innovative in Yunnan and is also the largest of the wet mills that Sucafina owns or operates globally. We are excited to see the mill open,” says Carl Sara, Sucafina China Managing Director. “Sucafina is constantly striving for innovative opportunities to consolidate the learnings and knowledge we have gained throughout our global network and implement them locally, adding genuine value and environmental gains,” he adds.
Sucafina has undertaken the wet mill as part of a larger sourcing engagement in Yunnan actively working upstream with farmers as part of IMPACT, Sucafina’s responsible sourcing program, which was launched in 2022.
This new Puwen wet mill has the capacity to process more than 15 tons of cherry/hour and facilitates the purchase of cherry from hundreds of local producers. It will: embrace and, in most cases, exceed globally recognised environmental standards for wet mills; support practices to help increase the net income, efficiency, and livelihoods of Yunnan producers; and develop targeted and regionally specific agronomy and processing techniques that can be scaled effectively in Yunnan.
The mill features a number of innovations, many of which have been made possible as a result of the technology and other resources available in Yunnan. High-quality wet milling equipment results in high yields, low defect rates, and – importantly – extremely low damage rates to coffee. Fully electronic recordings of all lot quality and weight data are collected, including immediate issuance of contracts upon reception and prompt payments. Combined, this provides surety to producers, and is the first stage of traceability that continues throughout the production supply chain.
To minimize environmental impact, the mill has a closed-circuit wastewater treatment system that is zero discharge into waterways (the first of its kind in the world and developed entirely in Yunnan); a high-efficiency steam boiler for water treatment; and a solar water heater that provides 40-60% of water heating requirements; and highly innovative mechanical driers developed with a local manufacturer. Demo plots on-farm provide the opportunity to demonstrate the latest agronomy techniques to producers.
“The wet mill represents a significant opportunity for Sucafina to increase the quality and consistency of Yunnan coffees both domestically and globally. This adds value for everyone in the supply chain from Farm to Roaster,” Carl Sara concludes.
Sucafina is a leading sustainable Farm to Roaster coffee company, with a family tradition in commodities that stretches back to 1905. Today, with more than 1,400 employees in 33 countries, the Group is one of the leading coffee trading houses in the world and one of the few focused entirely on coffee. Sucafina’s extensive supply chains span from producer-facing export operations to destination sales offices around the world.