The Coffee plant is commonly grown and harvested in parts of South America, Africa and Asia and then transported to the rest of the world as a major cash crop. It is also where the delicious beverage that so many enjoy, is grown.
When the fruit is ripe, the seed is separated from the fruit, washed for a couple days, and then dried. In the latter part of the harvesting process, the ready-to-go coffee beans are packaged, mostly in jute bags, and transported as freight aboard a vessel to take it to its destination. It really is an amazing process to see where our food is sourced globally, and how it eventually ends up in our homes, and in this case, in our mugs.
(Fun fact: America is the biggest consumer of coffee in the world!)
During the voyage, occasionally, the jute bags can rip, tear, get moldy due to external factors, or can even have bug/vermin infestations.
As damage surveyors and consultants, our team is called to assess the extent of damage these shipments, and perform a risk analysis, along with loss mitigation strategies. Case in point, recently, a shipment of damaged jute bags arrived in Montivilliers, France, and we were asked to attend the survey.
We noted that some of the bags appeared to have mold on them. As part of our survey, we counted, tallied and sampled the damage to see how many bags in total appeared to have mold, and further how many coffee beans within were affected. The coffee beans were checked for the presence of moisture, odor and color. The damaged coffee beans were set aside. Amongst other findings, we also determined the percentage of damaged vs. undamaged beans, and conducted a loss assessment analysis, determining the cause and extent of damage.
Due to the vulnerability of the jute bag itself, coffee beans can arrive in a damaged condition. A damage and loss assessment survey can help mitigate further loss and prevent damaged articles from ending up on a grocery store shelf.