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PC 7.06 Bagging, Super Sacks, and Shipping Containers

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Coffee has been exported in burlap or hessian sacks made of jute for generations. This natural fiber is generally preferred to plastics such as polypropylene because jute sacks are less likely to slip off each other than smooth plastic sacks (M. N. Clifford, 2012). The traditional use of these breathable sacks helped to prevent mildew in shipping, but coffee shelf life was significantly reduced. Also, the use of petroleum-based coatings on these sacks often lead to so-called ‘baggy’ flavour taints. (J. Morris, 2018).

A major change has come about over the last decade: the adoption of coffee sack liners, widely referred to by the name of the leading Philippines-based manufacturer, GrainPro. (We interview an engineer from Grainpro later in this chapter.) 

Coffee trade statistics are usually based on 60-kg (132.3-lb.) bag sizes. As the world’s largest coffee producer, Brazil sets the 60-kg bag size standard, which is also the standard in most of Africa. Colombia’s standard bag is 70 kg, however, and Guatemala packs coffee in 69-kg bags. 

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