We buy this coffee from the Navarro Vallejos family in Colombia near the Ecuador border. Via direct trade we are buying the green coffee direct from the farmers, this way the farmers get paid about twice as much, enabling them to earn a living, develop the farm, and keep producing this wonderful coffee for us.
Coffee farmers are facing challenges unimaginable for us in the developed world. The objective of the project is simple, helping the farmers producing high-quality green coffee and secure better options for the farmers to sell their produce.
The Navarro Vallejos family – Rodrigo and Leticia – have been coffee farming all of their lives, they are 3rd generation coffee farmers. They purchased their farm ‘La Piedra’ 25 years ago making their farm into their life project.
Rodrigo and Leticia also have 4 children. Their eldest daughter Yanira is carrying on in her parents footsteps, working closely with her father during the coffee harvest. This year’s crop is the result of Rodrigo and Yanira’s dedication to continually improving their crop, and we believe this is clear in the cup.
The coffee plants are naturally shaded by banana and other crops the farm producing. Growing different crops helps the farm to secure income even when one of their crops’ selling price is falling. It maintains biodiversity in the region, which helps to keep the crops healthy therefore reducing the need for pesticides dramatically.
The high quality coffee the farms offer, is a result of the continued dedication that the farmers show in every step of the coffee processing.
The farmers conduct ‘Selective Picking’. This is where only the ripe cherries are harvested and are picked individually by hand. The pickers rotate among the trees every 8 to 10 days. They pick the cherries which are at the peak of ripeness. This is a very labor intensive process. At the end of each day, the day’s harvest is transported to the processing plant. The coffee is processed using the ‘wet method’ – using water to separate the seed from the pulp. After the coffee is processed there are two further steps before coffee is ready for exporting. These steps include drying the coffee beans and milling the beans. At both of these steps workers picking out defective beans by hand so only the perfect beans are processed further.