April has been a busy month for us in Peru: With the harvest just months away, we on the agronomy team have been hard at work training smallholder farmers in Peru’s San Ignacio region about good agricultural practices.
These trainings are taking place through our Escuelas de Campo project, which focuses on improving the competitiveness of farmers across the specialty coffee market in northern Peru. This three-year project—conducted in collaboration with our partners Peru Opportunity Fund, Franke, and Cafe Moto—is currently in its final year.
This month I delivered five trainings, focusing on quality, traceability, and commercialization.
The month’s final training—with the San Ignacio cooperative Apesi—was a highlight. Because the trainings are geared toward farmers, it’s virtually unheard of to see co-op management in attendance. However, at this training Apesi general manager Alberto Pardo took part, demonstrating his commitment to both the project and the cooperative. In addition to taking part in the training, he delivered some inspiring words to the group.
Alberto talked about the challenges and demands of producing coffee for the national and international markets. He talked about how important it is for the farmers to carefully follow best practices to ensure quality. And he urged the farmers to deliver coffee promptly to help the cooperative function efficiently.
Alberto’s involvement in the training was a great example of the collaborative spirit that has made the Escuelas de Campo project successful, helping to improve quality and broaden opportunities for smallholder producers in northern Peru.