In Colombia, the vast majority of coffee is cultivated, harvested, and processed on small family-owned farms. While these producers are their architects, designing farm management and post-harvest solutions to fit their needs, they also need strong alliances to bring their coffee to the international market and earn fair prices. To support this system of small farm production, Colombia established the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (FNC) to organize and support a complex network of larger regional coffee cooperatives. These cooperatives provide producers with valuable logistical support like centralized warehouses to store dried parchment and dry mills where the coffee is prepared for export according to size.
The Supremo grade, the highest rating of any Colombian bean, is the largest bean with a 17/18 designation for beans that will not pass through a screen opening below 17/64 of an inch. Supremo lots are often traceable to regions of Colombia, each with distinct harvest times, which provides for a constant supply of fresh Colombian Supremo throughout the calendar year.
The climb from the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, through Shashamene and past Awasa is gradual, and coffee trees slowly increase in frequency, large, lanky, and dusty by the roadside, many so tall they lean on the roofs of houses for support. Coffees here are earlier than in the far south, delicate, and citric. Sidama has one of the most robust cooperative unions in the country with 53 member cooperatives, as well as a thriving industry of independent washing stations. Testi Ayla is one such independent, owned by Testi Coffee PLC and operated by Faysel Yonis.
The Testi Ayla washing station is located in Shanta Wene, a small community in eastern Sidama, close to the Harenna Forest preserve. The 1000 farmers delivering cherry to Testi Ayla average two hectares each in this area and some of the highest elevations in the whole of Sidama. There are three collection sites responsible for managing cherry delivery throughout the catchment area. Testi Ayla processes equal volumes of both fully washed and natural coffees of the highest quality. Washed lots at Testi Ayla are fermented slowly—36 to 48 hours–due to the low ambient temperatures in the region and the replenishment of cold groundwater throughout the process. Drying takes 10-12 days and wet parchment is often covered during the searingly-hot afternoon hours to protect it from cracking. Naturals here take even longer to dry, due to overnight low temperatures and humidity, which slow dehydration.
The result is a clean, strawberry-like cup with abundant complexity. It’s hard to find grade 1 naturals in Sidama, as the vast majority of the zone’s coffee tends to be washed, or sundried of a lower grade. Private processors like Testi Ayla are a thing to behold. It’s a tough business being a private processor in Sidama, as the sheer density of competition among washing stations tends to push cherry prices high throughout a single harvest, and privates often don’t have the backing of a larger union to secure financing, regulate cherry prices, or bring export costs down with centralized milling and marketing.
Successful private washing stations like Testi Ayla, then, need to be not only standout quality processors to stay afloat; they must also be excellent business developers with connections and community standing, to continue winning the business of farmers and buyers alike, and stay afloat for the long term.
As we are getting ready to return back to normal, here are all the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac by the Department of Health.
What COVID-19 vaccines have been granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
Sinovac vaccine is the 3rd vaccines to be granted an EUA in the Philippines. Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been previously granted an EUA by the Philippine FDA.
When did the Philippines FDA grant the EUA for Sinovac?
The Philippines FDA granted an EUA to Sinovac on February 22, 2021.
What other countries have been granted an EUA for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine?
Five countries including China, Indonesia, Turkey, and Brazil have EUA approvals for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine (as of Feb 11, 2021).
Is Sinovac safe?
Yes. As per the evaluation of the Philippine FDA, and concurred by expert groups, the safety profile for clinically healthy individuals aged 18-59 years old is good. Adverse events were mild to moderate, and the possibility of allergy or anaphylaxis is minimal.
Is the CoronaVac (Sinovac) effective?
Yes. Clinical trial data show that the vaccine is 50% effective in preventing mild symptoms, 78% effective against moderate symptoms, and 100% effective against severe symptoms.