Purchase/Transporting

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the cherries are bought by purchase agents for the cooperatives where farmers are expected to show up with their cherries (usually carried on the back of a bicycle). These are cooperative employees who wait at designated purchase points, usually with a truck — though the purchases can also be done at washing station locations, in which case there is no actual transporting of the cherries =E2=80=93 the processing starts at the same location. A purchase agent may go to more than one purchase point in one day (and usually do) and farmers are usually aware of the time when a truck comes to a certain location. At that location, the agent weighs the cherries and takes them on towards the washing station. During the picking process, farmers try to the extent possible to pick only red ripe cherries, but a number of under-ripe, or diseased cherries creep in for a variety of reasons. At the purchase point there is an inspection agent who oversees a sorting process (usually the farmer and any family members, or friends who help out) to hand pick all the bad cherries out. The bad cherries may go into a C-grade coffee processing, the good ones go on into the full process through thewashing. Information Recording: The purchase agent has a sheet of paper (see pic) which tracks the names, codes (based on some category), location, and kilograms of cherry taken. The producer has a corresponding piece of paper (see pic) which keeps track of how much has been sold at on what day. These two sheets of paper are the only records on either side =E2=80=93 the farmer does not have any record of the transactions other than the sheet =E2=80=93 and if this is lost, there are a lot of troubles getting paid because the transactions are kept by date of purchase rather than individual party involved in the transaction. (currently, latitude and climatic conditions are not systematically recorded at the purchase site). All of the purchases can be tracked by =E2=80=98lots=E2=80=99 =E2=80=93 lots are purchases made at one, or a subset of locations =E2=80=93 generally indicating a subgroup of a cooperative such as latitude. Lots are identifiable since all farmers can only sell at specific locations =E2=80=93 thus a farmer from a low altitude or a certain region can only sell at the purchase agent or washing station closest to them.

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