GEA has begun installing a production facility that will begin producing freeze-dried and spray-dried instant coffee for Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) in 2023. The facility will be one of the largest in the company and will enhance the soluble coffee business.
The new plant is being constructed in Esprito Santo, Brazil, a region that produces conilon beans. Similar to robusta, Conilon coffee beans are bitter and primarily used to produce espresso and instant coffee.
“Our relationship with GEA began with the building of our first soluble coffee plant in Vietnam.” Over the years, GEA has upgraded their extraction, evaporation, and freeze-drying technology, which has helped us increase output and material efficiency, a key value driver in the production of soluble coffee, according to Shankar Rao, senior vice president and head of operations for ofi.
Consumption of instant coffee is anticipated to rise in South America, and the new facility will allow ofi to expand its capacity to meet the growing market demand.
The Danish Center of Competence for GEA will supply its coffee extraction system, Carine, which is designed to produce high yields. GEA’s mechanical vapor recompression evaporation technology, Conrad freeze-drying equipment, and a refrigeration plant are also included in the order.
OFI emphasized that the price of coffee beans doubled over the past year due in part to record freight costs and extreme weather in Brazil. The provider detailed the progress of its on-the-ground operations to increase the resilience and equity of its coffee farming operations in its outlook.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Nespresso and OFI, established the Gorilla Coffee Alliance in 2021 to assist 8,500 farmers in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in maximizing coffee production and sales by 2026.
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