ROWAN’S ROYALE (RR) recently participated in a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Webinar on COVID-19, Coffee and Food Safety.
Each year, before inspection for Organic Certification by CERES GmbH, RR must update its Hazard Analysis and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Organic Processing. Although much of the SCA Webinar focussed on protecting personnel working in processing plants, roasters, cafes and the management of serving coffee to the public, it raised a number of issues/lessons which we have taken on board and we have adapted our 2020 SOPs.
Ensure minimum human interaction with the coffee:
At a maximum RR has only 7 people working with the us. 3 are solely on farm. We are already working with a reduced team as one team member has on sick leave prior to the virus outbreak and remains on sick leave nd will do until the quarantine and isolation restrictions are removed. Post-harvest only 4 people are involved; now reduced to 3.
ACTION The storage/sorting areas are locked and entry only permitted with masks.
Scientists are still unsure how long the virus can live on a range of surfaces. Our dried coffee is stored in hemp bags. The bags themselves and how they are stored are now identified in our Hazard Control points.
ACTION Transfer of dried parchment from d ruing racks to bags and from bags to thrasher will now be undertaken wearing (non-lates) gloves and masks. There has been no suggestion that the virus can live as long as 6 months and that is the minimum time our coffee is held from reaping to roasting.
The Webinar did not suggest that the virus could survive the high temperatures at which coffee is roasted, so RR has concentrated on maximising safety precautions in packaging.
Once roasted and bagged, each order is now heat sealed in clear plastic.
In this way clients will be able to sanitize the outer plastic bag without damage to the labelling or one-way valves on the coffee bags.
The cardboard box or envelope can easily be disposed of.
We hope this assures you that at Rowan’s Royale we take the protection of YOUR health, and the safety of OUR coffee seriously. If you have any suggestions, please do share them with us.
Stay safe! Wash your hands !
#flatten the curve