Colombia Maria Nuna Honey
GREEN APPLE | MILK CHOCOLATE | WHITE GRAPE
Producer: Red Associations
District: Villamaria, Caldas
MASL: 1800 - 1900
Process: Nuna Honey
Varietal: Orange Castillo
Roasting Profile: Filter, Aeropress, French Press
In May 2017, Raw Material met with two coffee producer groups in Pitalito, Huila, to understand what is preventing farmers from accessing the specialty market. These groups represent almost 300 families, around 660Ha of coffee farmland, and around 1 million kg of
coffee (parchment) production each year. Despite good production levels, income from coffee for these families dropped to unsustainable levels in the past few years.
They face a crossroad; either find alternative means of income outside coffee, or find a more stable and sustainable market. During these discussions, we heard farmers describe their core challenges: a lack of key infrastructure; and lack of stable prices to provide certainty for investment in improved quality.
Together, we also uncovered a wide gap between how coffee quality is discussed and measured at the farm level compared with the roasting end of the value chain. To address these challenges, we launched the Red Associations. With the new infrastructure in place, we are able to pay individual farmers a minimum fixed price for the dry parchment coffee they produce through a community lot. This price results in double the household income of a typical coffee producing family, compared with the average income in the regular market over the past 5 years.
Once the new infrastructure is built, fixed price payments can get directly to producers through a transparent system. The goal is to achieve stable and sustainable prices for community coffee lots through improved quality control, shared knowledge, and a connection to the specialty coffee market. Red in Spanish means network, representing the producers and roasters working together to create a sustainable value chain.