The Gakundu Factory is located at 1650 masl in the location of Ngandori West in Emby County which borders thefoothills of Mount Kenya. The factory is part of the Gakundu Farmers Society which has about 1250 active members in total. The washing station is managed by Godfrey Gicovi who oversees all quality controls at the station to ensure high quality coffees are produced.From funds set aside from the previous year’s harvest, members of the co-operative can accesspre-financing for school fees, access to farm inputs and funds for emergency needs. The factory is receiving assistance from a field partner- Coffee Management Services (CMS).
The long term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, access to input and education. In line with the rising awareness on the need to conserve the environment, the factory has dugthe waste water soak pits away from the water source where the waste water is allowed tosoak in back to the soil. Coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Gakundo factory where it is pulped. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) using water floatation which means the denser beans will sink and be sent through channels to the fermentation tank.
This first stage of fermentation will last for around 24 hours, after which the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for another 12-24 hours. Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for as long as another 24 hours.