Known internationally for it’s high qualities of Arabica, Colombia forms a significant portion of our yearly volumes. However, rather than the more traditional coffee growing regions of Huila, Tolima etc we work in the north, with indigenous farmers living in the shadow of the stunning mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta national park.
The Arhuaco, one of the cultures descended from the Tairona indigenous peoples of the region, live and work in the indigenous reserve that surrounds the mountain and the cultural and geographical hub of Nabusimake. Subsistence farmers whose only cash income is from coffee, the people of this region work at a scale that makes competition with the southern producers increasingly difficult. Trees are old, yields are low, central processing centres are days mule ride down the mountain, and the farmers commitment to sustainable organic agriculture prevents the use of heavy fertilisers and pesticides.
In partnership with Café ANEI (an indigenous rights organisation based in Valledupar) and the FNC, we are working on large scale development work for the Arhuaco people of the region. This we co-financed the the planting of 2ha each of coffee, plus 150 plantain shade trees and native vegetation, for 91 indigenous peasant women from the Yerwa community. This, combined with farmer training and agronomy programs is estimated to have a yearly cash value to the community of around $650,000.00 p/a