By: Susan Heller Evenson

Shilanga AMCOS (cooperative; stands for Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society), based in the Songwe region of Mbozi in southern Tanzaniaa, was created in 1993. At that time it only received home-processed parchment from members, but in 2013 they bought a Penagos pulper and started producing washed coffee in the 2014 season.

Shilanga currently services 193 producers, and in 2019 they purchased a Penagos eco-pulper and built additional drying beds to accommodate their growing volume. The CPU/washing station sits at 1,646 MASL and Bourbon derivatives are the main varietals (90% N39, 10% KT 423). Farmers deliver cherries from 1-6pm, the cherry is pulped from 6pm up to 12am, and then the parchment is graded by density (P1 (heaviest), P2, P3, and lights and pods), dry fermented from 24-36 hours, washed, and dried on raised beds from 7-14 days.

Atlas first purchased coffee from Shilanga in 2018, and Shilanga has been a mainstay offering since. Our sister company and partner, Ibero (NKG East Africa), and NKG-owned City Mills dry mill, work closely with many AMCOS in southern Tanzania. In recent years they have developed an innovative partnership with different AMCOS by establishing coffee clubs at nearby high schools.  As funds are available, and when AMCOS express a desire to form a coffee club, NKG provides an instructor and seedlings to the AMCOS’ coffee club, where student participants meet weekly to tend to their coffee trees on a communal plot. Each student also receives 50-100 seedlings to bring back home. Once the coffee starts producing, students can sell their cherries to the AMCOS if they desire. Many Shilanga members’ children participate in Shilanga’s active coffee club.

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