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Connecting a promising coffee region to the specialty market

Posted by Olga Cuellar-Gomez on February 11, 2015 at 12:46 PM

Sustainable Harvest®’s Colombia office recently embarked on an exciting project to bring coffees to market from an up-and-coming coffee-producing region in Colombia.

tolima 1-1Convened in partnership with the government organization Unidad Administrativa Especial para la Consolidación Territorial (UACT), the new project targets the Planadas municipality in the department of Tolima. The area is surrounded by the Andes and has outstanding conditions for growing coffee, including fertile soil. However, decades of social conflict have prevented Tolima from developing an infrastructure to bring its coffee to market. Consequently, for the last decade much of the specialty coffee world has missed out on its amazing coffee.

But that may soon change as new markets open in Planadas, the third-largest coffee-growing municipality in Colombia. The project is working with 1,500 producers from 18 coffee-producing organizations to train them in all aspects of production, equipping them with the knowledge they need to enter the specialty coffee market. The training will cover topics including quality and best agricultural practices, financial literacy, the basics of the C market, and cost of production. The project will also provide the farmers with information on the process of fair trade and organic certifications—UACT is supporting the certification preparation and audit for five of the 18 organizations.

tolimaPlanadas produces a high volume of coffee of excellent quality; the region has produced the most Cup of Excellence finalists of any region in Colombia. We’re very excited about the future of this area, and we’ll work closely with these farmers as they become educated about everything it takes to succeed on the specialty market. We hope it’s just a matter of months before we can offer their coffee to our customers—Tolima’s harvest takes place in May, June, and July. At that time we will share the profiles of these coffees through our Tastify cupping app.

We also expect to have representatives from the Planadas association—as well as their coffee—at our Let’s Talk Coffee® Colombia  event June 11-13. We hope that you can join us to discover this amazing coffee.

Topics: Projects