Incofin recently financed a successful eco-mill project for a Small Producer Organization (SPO) in Colombia through 2 of its funds; the agRIF and the Fairtrade Access Fund. The eco-mill project is a large-scale wet mill plant with state-of-the-art, water efficient machinery from market leading suppliers, that includes its own water treatment facility.
One of the key challenges faced by the coffee sector, especially at the processing level, is its potential negative impact on the environment. The traditional methods of coffee processing, completed at the farm level, are extremely labor-intensive, wasteful, have a low rate of productivity and can be costly.
Aiming to provide the best socioeconomic alternative for coffee farmers, improve the quality of coffee and support the conservation of natural resources, the eco-mill project was born. The mill services farmers in the region, giving them the option to sell coffee cherries directly to the wet mill on the day of harvesting. Moving from a large number of household-level mills to a large-scale centralized mill, with water-efficient milling technology, improves water resource management and, through clear economies of scale, provides positive social benefits to producers and to the SPO.