Valler Coffee Origins
Cutthroat Drift - Guatemala Ixil Avelina – Fair Trade Organic
In the mountains of the tropical Ixcan region, in the department of El Quiché, Guatemala, the Ixil de Avelina cooperative is helping farmers to improve their livelihoods and communities.
Ixil de Avelina evolved in response to sinking coffee prices and a necessity to increase profitability for farmers in the communities of San Juan Cotzal, San Gaspar Chajul and Santa Maria Nebaj.
In 1998, the group began to organize and succeeded in gaining organic certification, and in 2004 it earned Fair Trade certification as well. These certifications signify not only an improvement in co-op members’ quality of life but also improvements to their environment through sustainable practices.
Ixil de Avelina has 185 members and is currently using its Fair Trade premiums to build a school for the community, as well as to fund:
A Computer Studies Academy
Maya Ixil maintains a computer lab, to provide students in the region with access to technology.
Technical Assistance Workshops
Maya Ixil contracts agronomists to lead group workshops, as well as to provide direct technical assistance on individual farms.
Women’s Micro-credit Fund
Coffee farming is heavily dominated by men in this community, though Maya Ixil does have 12 members who are women. To empower the wives of farmers to engage in additional economic pursuits, Maya Ixil created a microcredit fund to support income diversification plans, such as purchasing materials to raise livestock or to produce handicrafts and textiles. The additional income they generate both benefits the families and helps to promote gender equality in the community.
Beekeeping Teaching Program
A pilot project by Food 4 Farmers has promoted commercial beekeeping among coffee producers. Inter American recently donated $6,000 to the program, which has helped coffee crops, provided a source of nutrition to families and created a supplemental source of income. Domingo de la Cruz Toma, the apiary teacher for the Ixil de Avelina program, and a coffee farmer himself, touts beekeeping’s potential to improve the lives of farmers over the long term.
“My commitment doesn’t stop with my work,” he has said, “but is a small seed to hopefully grow the sustainability of this work for future generations.
Cupping notes: Sweet and nutty with notes of dark chocolate and nougat.
Region Grown: El Quiche
Growing Altitude: 5,000 to 6,500 feet above sea level
Fully Washed, Patio Dried
Rifleman - Peru Aproselva, Fair Trade Organic – 100% Arabica
APROSELVA (ASOCIACION DE PRODUCTORES CAFETALEROS SELVA CENTRAL) is a producer cooperative located in the region of Junin of Peru. APROSELVA is made up of 530 members from over 15 small communities in the Provinces of Chanchamayo and Satipobetween between 1,200 and 1,800 masl. These farms are beautiful and full of diversity with many vegetables, fruits and shade trees. Some of the vegetation found includes peppers, pineapple and papaya. These photos are from our visit in July!
Peru APROSELVA coffee is sourced from family owned farms organized around the Asociación de Productores Cafetaleros Selva Central (APROSELVA), which was established in 2012 to support coffee producers in central highlands of the Junín Region, Peru. APROSELVA provides training and financing aimed at improving coffee quality and yields to increase farmer earnings. On average, each producer cultivates 10 hectares of land with a diversity of crops including coffee and citrus fruit. The coffee producing community has maintained a rich indigenous culture and many people continue to speak native languages like Quechua. The cup is exceptionally balanced and incredibly sweet.
Cupping notes: Hazelnut, dark chocolate, vanilla, almonds, lemon, cocoa
Region Grown: Junin
Growing Altitude: 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level
Fully Washed, Patio Dried
Backcountry Coffee - Colombia Anei, Fair Trade Organic – 100% Arabica
The Arhuaco indigenous group is led by the enterpreneur Aurora Izquierdo, and curently supported by 700 coffee producing families and a large team of people who committed to the same mission. Aurora Izquierdo dreamt of turning coffee into a source of value within the farming and indigenous communities from La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Serranía del Perijá. The main objective was to solve solve problems such as lack of food and cultural recognition, a poor education system, and indigenous and rural economic crisis; all of this without forgetting about the preservation of forests, rivers and fauna.
Aurora was one of the first women of her generation to leave the isolated indigenous Arhuaca community of Santa Maria and get a higher education. Upon Aurora’s graduation, she left Bogotá and returned to her community to create a sustainable agriculture program that would improve the quality of life for all of her community members. The foundation of ANEI honors the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous groups represented. The Arhuaco or Ijku community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria is one of four descendants of the Tayrona people. The area in which ANEI operates is made up of approximately 30,000 Arhuacos located between the departments of Cesar and Magdalena in Colombia.
With staff headed by the agricultural engineers Paulo Lemus and Alecy Andrade, Anei is able to focus on increasing the productivity and improving the procedures in order to achieve the high quality coffee from each variety of coffee trees.
and have a quality management program covering processes for each of the producers and a logisitc system to classify the diverse qualities of the coffee bought by Anei’s laborartories using a tasting procedure.
Along with the Colombian Department of Social Prosperity and Municipal Mayors we have set the goal of making a change towards ecological agriculture in all the municipalities of Cesar, Guajira and Magdalena departments, especially focusing on the coffee growing field.
By 2016, Anei has 112 women coffee growing members, supported 33 students with educational grants, has a comprehensive range of FTO Certified coffee in Northern Colombia, and has a simplified organizational and commercial model of relation and transparency between customer and producer.
Cupping Notes: Nice sweet acidity but crisp as well; toasted almond, round body, toffee.
Region Grown: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Cesar and Magdelana
Growing Altitude: 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level
Fully Washed, Patio Dried
Kampfire Koffee - Mexico Fedesi, Fair Trade Organic – 100% Arabica
FEDESI (Federacion de Sociedades Cooperativas Cafetaleras de la Sierra Madre) produces SHG Fairtrade Organic coffee in Escuintla, Huixtla, Motozintla, Siltepec in the region of Chiapas (800 – 1,500 masl). FEDESI was founded by 6 groups located in the municipalities of Motozintla and Siltepec with the objective of providing support to small producers in finding new markets, financing and government support. Currently, the organization has 1,540 producers with a certified volume of 5600qq of fairtrade organic coffee. Each small group provided its own coffee production for the first year of the organization in 2016, and the coffee was sold locally.
Most of the partners of Cooperative FEDESI are small producers with 3 acres each. Each have their own wet mill and dry the coffees on their own patios. Being part of the Cooperative has allowed members of FEDESI to become stronger, reach their goals and gain access to higher market prices. Together they have established a renovation program, built a nursery and offered trainings for leaf rust treatment for producers. Moreover, they support their community with small producer financing.
FEDESI (Federacion de Sociedades Cooperativas Cafetaleras de la Sierra Madre) produces SHG Fairtrade Organic coffee in the region of Chiapas (800 – 1,500 masl). FEDESI was founded with the intent to provide support to small producers in finding new markets, financing and government support.
Most of the partners of Cooperative FEDESI are small producers with 3 acres each, with their own wet mill and dry the coffees on their own patios. Being part of the Cooperative has allowed members of FEDESI to become stronger, reach their goals and gain access to higher market prices. Together they have established a renovation program, built a nursery and offered trainings for leaf rust treatment for producers. They also support their community with small producer financing.
Cupping notes: heavy aroma, full body, nutmeg, clove, dark chocolate, sugar cane, lemon grass, tangerine notes.
Region Grown: Escuintla, Huixtla, Chiapas
Growing Altitude: 3,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level
Washed, Sun Dried