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  1. #1
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    How do you track beans from shipment through the roast and blend processes?

    I heard that for organic certification you need to be able to track shipped green coffee beans all the way through the process in very great detail. Does everyone just use excel sheets? It seems like that gets complicated real fast, with pre and post roast blending, etc. What solutions have people used?

    thanks !

  2. #2
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    I'll be back to explain how we do it when I have more time.

  3. #3
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    We keep a log book w/ date and organic id #'s of all of the organic beans we receive. Another section gives organic id #'s of all single origins roasted each month. A third section contains all of our blends roasted each month, the lot #'s WE assigned to the blend in question and the specific lot #'s of the single origins used in the blends. As old beans are used up and new bags come in, the blend specifics change, new blend lot #'s are assigned and the specific recipes are updated each month.

    We have a company label that goes on each bag of bean sold. "Certified Organic by the Iowa Dpt. of Ag and Land Stewardship," is printed on the bottom of this label. We also have small, white labels we attach below that signifies the single origin, if appropriate, and the specific organic lot number. The blends have a small white label w/ name of blend and the specific lot number we have assigned. If you go back into the log book, you can find the page for the specific blend in question that lists the organic id #'s of the specific single origins used in the recipe.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Hi eldub, thanks so much for the help. That's roughly how I imagine one would do it. It seems pretty tough to keep it organized, no? For example, when you have to run a report at the end of the year for the certification, do you find that takes hours to do? Or is it not too bad? Also during the years, on the inventory side, it seems like it could be tough to keep track of exactly how much is in and out. Or do you have some process to make that easy?

  5. #5
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    We don't have to run any report at the end of the year (that I know of.) We simply keep a hard copy in a binder that documents each month's bean purchases, single origins roasted/sold and specific components of blends sold.

    There is no keeping track of what is in or out, as far as I know. We simply track the different single origin beans roasted each month as well as the blends, as noted above. The single origin retail packages have the original organic lot numbers listed after the bean name and coop/estate and the blends carry the lot number we assigned each specific batch. ("Mexican Altura, Chiapas - Porvenir Coop - Medium Dark Roast, Lot #208/6372/009" for a single origin, "Heart and Soul Blend, Lot #2, Beans from the Americas and Africa," for a blend.)

    The USDA basially wants to be able to follow a bean from the time it arrives in the shop when it is sold. That means if someone has a problem with a bag of beans they buy, it is relatively easy to look at the label and cross reference the binder to see which lot/lots of beans are being scrutinized. For example, right now our Ju-Ju blend #3 is on the shelf of a local health food store. Our records will show which single origin beans currently go into the recipe of the blend in question.

 

 

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