Once the cherries have been harvested, they are on to the next step to be processed. There are two types of processing. The first is “Dry Processing”. Dry Processing can be referred to as “unwashed” or “natural” processing. For 15 to 20 days the cherries are exposed to the sunlight and stirred on a regular basis to dry evenly. Once the cherries are dried they are skinned by hand or by machine, removing the pulp and parchment. The second type of processing is called “Wet Processing”. This can also be referred to as “washed” processing. Hours after being harvested, the pulp is immediately removed from the cherries. The beans are washed by fermentation and rinsing. This is said to be a better method of processing than dry processing because it is less damaging to the bean (“How Coffee is Processed & Roasted”).
The working conditions that these coffee workers go through during harvesting and processing are very harsh. They might sleep in temporary shelters and bathe, wash, and cook using the same water source. Sometimes they are forced overtime without compensation and do not receive employee benefits. Some workers will even start to bring their children into work with them in order to increase their daily quota. However, the children will not get paid and will not be subjected to labor protection. Coffee workers are not guaranteed their basic labor rights. The work conditions and effects of working as a coffee worker is brutal in this step of the coffee bean chain (“Coffee Production and Labor”).
Once the beans are done being processed they are prepared to be exported.