Lying to the North West of Bogota, Antioquia is one of the biggest coffee producing Departments in Colombia. 94 of its 125 municipalities produce coffee, which highlights the economic importance of coffee to the 6 million people who live there. For many years Antioquia it has been known primarily for producing larger commercial lots of coffee, without really being recognised for the potential to produce specialty grade coffees. The department, like many of the regions in Colombia, is dominated by the dramatic peaks and valleys of The Andes, which provide the perfect combination of high altitude and fertile soils to grow specialty coffee. Our Importer has partnered with Co-op Andes, who are based in the south west of the Department. They are making huge strides to improve the quality of coffees in the region, as well as looking to help encourage the next generation of coffee farmers.
With the help of Co-op Andes - who have identified farmers with plots ranging from 1 - 3 hectares and with the potential to produce specialty grade coffee - our Importer has been able to select a range of micro lots. All of the producers of these micro lots have benefited from the Delos Andes training programme, which has helped them to create composting systems, make regular soil analyses for targeted fertiliser application, and to increase yields and quality. Many of the producers are small holder farmers, who inherited a few hectares of land which have been producing coffee for generations. The co-op can help with education around problems such as drying, something which is pertinent in this region, as they can experience high humidity and rainfall during the harvest and drying periods.
Within this micro lot selection, there are coffees from several young producers who are part of the New Generation of Coffee Growers Program, run by Co-op Andes. These farmers are between 18 and 35 and there are currently 184 within this group receiving further training in areas such as administration, managerial decisions, economics, record keeping, environment, infrastructure and co-financing. The aim is to empower and encourage the next generation of coffee farmers by facilitating them with the tools to succeed and to provide a sustainable and profitable future for themselves and their families.
All of the producers who are associated with the micro lot program will receive initial payments for their parchment on arrival, relating to the quality they deliver. Once cupped, the coffee will be highlighted and stored separately in the mill. When the coffee is sold, the producers then receive a further 60% of sale profits. In addition, all producers have access to the contracts and final sale prices of their coffees, as well as access to exchange rates on the days of conversion into local currency for full transparency.
The 'La Virgen ' micro lot is produced by Giovany Andres Gonzalez on his farm situated in the municipality of Betania, at an altitude of 1900masl and is of the Colombia and Caturra varietal.