Strengthening the export skills of the actors of the Guinean coffee sector
Fambolena works in consortium with Aka Zebra SAS as part of a 4-year program supported by the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI). The purpose of this program is to develop exports of Guinean coffee to European Community by strengthening the skills of players in the coffee sector through training and coaching actions.
Guinea is a small coffee producer compared to the world market: probably around 22,000 tonnes. It is mainly Robusta coffee grown in an agroforestry systems in Guinée Forestière in the regions of Macenta, Gueckedou and Nzérékoré.
The production of Robusta coffee in the Ziama mountains benefits from a Protected Geographical Indication. Due to the altitude (570 meters) and the favorable rainfall, this Robusta coffee has a particular aromatic profile that distinguishes it from other Robustas coffees in Africa. The IGP standard also imposes good practices on producers in terms of soil fertility management, phytosanitary protection and post-harvest operations, in particular drying on racks.
The coffee is marketed dried and shelled by the producers through a network of pisteurs and collectors operating on behalf of wholesalers and exporters based in the towns of Macenta, Guéckédou and Nzérékoré.
Most Guinean Robusta coffee is now exported to Senegal and Morocco. Alongside the small operators who each process around a thousand tonnes of coffee on the Senegalese market, two large companies, SONIT and Tafalgui process the major part of Guinea's Robusta coffee. They have modern processing units and export to Morocco.
There is also, in Foutah Djallon, a small production of Arabica coffee. Partly cultivated by women in the tapades which surround the houses and, for the rest, along the rivers, this production remains confidential: probably no more than 200 tons. Post harvest process of the Arabica coffee from Foutah follow either the wet or dry way. In both cases, manual operations predominate, including pulping and shelling.
Most of Guinea's Arabica coffee is consumed locally or exported by road to Senegal.
Launched in January 2021, the effective start of the program has been delayed due to the health situation. Ten companies registered. An initial audit was carried out, first remotely and then, in December 2021, in the field. Nine organizations were integrated into the program as a result. They have very diverse profiles: traditional green coffee traders, small roasters, Company with a social mission, cooperatives, the association managing the IGP Ziama and federations of coffee producers.
The first actions began in April 2022 with a training cycle on marketing provided through video-conference by Aka Zebra. Fambolena organized, in June 2022, in collaboration with the Guinean Export Promotion Agency (AGUIPEX) and the Cupping Club, a three-day training workshop in Conakry on coffee quality. This workshop brought together around thirty representatives of different players in the coffee sector and focused on the different aspects of quality: physical criteria, visual defects, sensory analysis, food safety, packaging and traceability.