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Exciting News: Our New Dry Mill Opens in Santa Marta, Colombia in June 18, 2023

We are delighted to present this interview with Anderson Alberto Rondano Gomez, the Manager of RioSierra SAS, as we delve into the anticipated opening of the new dry mill. Join us as we explore the significance of this milestone for the sustainability of the Colombian coffee-growing industry and our investment project.


The De La Sierra Trilladora Dry Mill in Santa Marta. Opperated by RioSierra and Ecotierra

1. When is the grand opening of the Dry Mill?


The dry mill service will commence on June 18, 2023 and we will be happy to offer guided tours.


2. Can you provide an overview of the new Dry Mill in Santa Marta?


Our dry mill Plant, known as De La Sierra Trilladora, is situated in Santa Marta, Magdalena Department, Colombia, merely 5 minutes away from the Port of Santa Marta.


De La Sierra Trilladora has the capacity of processing 52 bags of 70 kg per hour for excelso and 9 bags of 70 kg per hour for microlots, honey, and natural coffee. It was established with a strong emphasis on quality, ethics, and trust. It employs the best techniques to process coffee with the highest standards. To do so, we have incorporated state-of-the-art machinery from CIMBRIA, a globally renowned brand specializing in grain and seed processing equipment. Notably, our Polisher HAMSA M14 preserves the moisture content in the coffee beans by avoiding fragmentation or heating, ensuring optimal quality. Additionally, we have integrated optical selectors such as the SEA TRUER and SEA CHROMEX models, the latter equipped with ultraviolet cameras and operating under the UV spectrum. These selectors enable the removal of extensively aged coffees or beans contaminated with fungi, aflatoxins, and ochratoxins.


In compliance with environmental standards, our coffee processing plant has implemented an Environmental Management Plan to minimize our ecological impact. To achieve this, we have acquired the most advanced dust extraction system, equipped with a sleeve filter. This system is currently unparalleled in coffee processing plants.


3. What were the key factors that influenced the decision to establish a new dry mill in Santa Marta?


The decision to establish the Dry mill machine in Santa Marta was driven by several significant factors. Firstly, most coffee dry mills in Colombia face numerous challenges when providing services to coffee associations and families. These challenges included excessive heat during the dry mill process, resulting in grain cracks and bleaching, as well as issues with excessive dust and particulate matter inside the plant. Moreover, inadequate storage practices and concealed underground processes further compound the problems. Additionally, there are concerns regarding grain loss, deficiencies in traceability, and inventory management processes.


RioSierra team picture with the founders of Ecotierra, Karina Santa and Étienne Desmarais. De La Sierra Trilladora Riosierra

4- Who owns the Dry Mill?


Ownership of the Dry Mill is jointly held by Sierra Transición, representing the Urapi Fund, and our esteemed local producer partners.


5- Are there any plans in place to collaborate with local coffee farmers and cooperatives to enhance their access to Dry Mill facilities and services?


Yes, as part of our ongoing efforts, we initiated partnerships with four associations of small local producers in the region this year.


6- How does the Dry Mill prioritize environmental sustainability and address concerns about waste management?


To prioritize environmental sustainability, our Dry Mill has implemented several measures. We began by developing an environmental management plan that ensures compliance with existing regulations and minimizes any adverse environmental impacts. In terms of waste management, we have acquired a state-of-the-art cisco and dust extraction system. The dust generated during the milling process is incorporated into our production process, where it is utilized as a component of FertiSierra, our organic fertilizer. By repurposing the dust, we not only reduce waste but also contribute to the overall sustainability of our operations.


Machinery view of the De La Sierra Trilladora Dry Mill in Santa Marta Colombia operated by RioSierra and Ecotierra


7- What are the short and long-term goals of the Dry Mill in terms of production volume, market expansion, and sustainability objectives?


In the short term, our goal is to process 50,000 bags of 70 kilograms per year, and within the third year of operation, we aim to increase our production volume to 78,000 bags. We also have plans for market expansion, with the objective of collaborating with at least 10 associations of small producers. Sustainability is a key focus for us, and we are committed to implementing environmentally friendly practices throughout our operations, including waste management, energy efficiency, and water conservation measures.


8- How can someone access the mill services? Who should the public contact?


To access our mill services, please reach out to our commercial coordinator, Estevan Gustavo Vargas, who can be contacted via email at comercial@riosierra.co. Estevan will be able to provide further information, assist with inquiries, and guide interested parties through the process of utilizing our mill services.


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The opening of this dry mill in Colombia marks a significant milestone in our journey toward enhancing the sustainability of the coffee value chain. It represents a collective effort by RioSierra, Ecotierra and the Urapi Land Use Fund to foster long-term sustainability and support the livelihoods of coffee producers. We are thrilled to witness this important progress and remain committed to our shared goal of creating a more sustainable and resilient coffee industry.

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