Ethiopian coffee processor CPWE ups processing efficiency by 75% with Buhler’s Sortex solutions

ETHIOPIA – Coffee Processing and Warehouse Enterprise (CPWE), the largest coffee processing plant in Ethiopia has upped its operational efficiency by 75% courtesy of its use of the Sortex machine by food processing solutions provider, Buhler.

Like many coffee processing plants in the country, CPWE was using handpicking as a primary means of sorting coffee beans before investing in the machine.

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Commanding 26% annual market share of all processed coffee for export in Ethiopia and facilitating over 100 exporters every year, CPWE has been able to improve its product quality, maintain export standards, increase operational efficiency and stability by 75% through the use of the Sortex machine.

Utilizing the technology, CPWE has two Sortex color sorters, running back-to-back at the last stage before packing in each of its three lines.

“So much time has been saved by using our Sortex machines. What would have taken five minutes now takes just two minutes to handpick. Overall, our sorting efficiency, up to and including the final bagging stage, has increased by 75%. For us, that is outstanding!”

Getaw Yalew – General Manager CPWE

The SORTEX Z+ Bichro machines, the SORTEX A ColorVision and the SORTEX B MultiVision machines have all been installed for primary sorting as well as re-sorting, for an added layer of quality assurance.

According to the press-release by Buhler this ensures a superior and more consistent quality of coffee as it easily removes the sour, vinegar, immature and discolored beans, in addition to insect damaged and broca beans.

“Before investing in the Sortex machines, we relied heavily on handpicking and the quality control of our coffee was not great. The efficiency was poor, output per hour was low and costs were high,” said Getaw Yalew, General Manager at CPWE.

“So much time has been saved by using our Sortex machines. What would have taken five minutes now takes just two minutes to handpick. Overall, our sorting efficiency, up to and including the final bagging stage, has increased by 75%. For us, that is outstanding!” Yalew said.

Export requirements for coffee beans in Ethiopia are of the highest criteria, with a 99.9% accept quality as standard. If the input quality is poor, a second pass is often required in sorting.

“The first thing we always show our international buyers are our Sortex color sorters, as a guarantee that we have a superior quality of coffee. And they are always very impressed,” Yalew stated.

By exclusively using Sortex machines in all of its coffee processing operations, CPWE has also seen the market constantly grow in terms of volume and quality standard.

As the only coffee processor in Ethiopia that has two Sortex sorters running on each of its lines, CPWE is confident that its valued customers are satisfied and this in turn allows business to remain stable.

Another factor that provides stability for the company is the reliable after-care service provided by Bühler’s local sales channel partner in Ethiopia, Sol-Pro Engineering & Trade PLC.

Solomon Belachew, Manager at Sol-Pro Engineering and Sales Manager for Bühler products said, “We supply efficient machinery that is reliable and stable with a complete solution in coffee processing, from bean to cup.

“It makes us extremely proud to say that CPWE’s Bühler machinery-powered plant continues to lead the market in high-quality coffee processing.

Established in 1994, CPWE processes and stores export-standard, washed and natural Arabica coffee beans grown all around Ethiopia.

The Enterprise operates from a 50,683 square meter coffee processing plant located in the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa, with around 400 permanent and contract employees.

The three export coffee processing lines are able to collectively process 15 metric tons of coffee per hour. The company also boasts a storage capacity of up to 30,000 tons and processes approximately 50,000 tons of Arabica coffee every year.

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