Relationship Series: Finca El Platanar
Better Together! (Cheesy but true!)
We found ourselves in a bit of a rut this year. We had 2.4 containers worth of coffee but we couldn’t just ship a container only 40% full. This is where Don Timoteo, the president of La San Pedrana had an amazing vision and direction alongside the support of Don Mainor our town/area agronomist. We realize that our values are really centered around the community. Supporting smallholder farmers was our way of doing that but Don Timoteo made a good point that larger style farmers can also support the community in different ways. So Don Mainor was excited to hear this and gave us two suggestions; both of which, we now have coffees to reflect these new relationships. So we went to Finca El Platanar and met with their farm manager Don Daniel.
One of the first things that struck me about Don Daniel was his humility. It was neat to see how he interacted with the workers before we met with him and then while talking, he understood how building a relationship could revitalize and bring back more hope to the workers they employ. He had a genuine desire and thought for the workers. Finca El Platanar employs 18 full-time workers and over 200 workers during the harvesting season from the nearby community.
One of the main conversations that took place was really about how much land they’ve had to abandon and how that concerns them about being able to give more employment opportunities. So over 50% of Finca El Platanar’s land has been abandoned since 2012, when the leaf rust epidemic first started. Each year they made a decision to strategically invest their money into areas in which they could manage best. This meant abandoning small areas each year due to the low prices they’ve been receiving although hoping for a turn in the market to later renovate these areas. With less land to manage, that also meant less need for workers. You could tell Don Daniel has wanted to do something to bring a change to this situation of theirs. He was passionate, eager, and yet concerned.
Thankfully, they've already started doing something different. Last year they cut their abandoned plants, prepped the land and are in the process of renovating back a portion of these abandoned lands. We talked about plant health maintenance and how important it is to give the plants the food it needs to have the vigor that often helps them to fight diseases like leaf rust.
Don Daniel was really excited about working with us this year and we hope to continue a relationship with Finca El Platanar. It was neat to see how relationships that value quality often time value the farmers themselves at the same time. For Don Daniel, he understood how his work could enact change not just for the consumer end but for his end too. It inspired hope which is what we love seeing. We never knew hope would be such a valuable tool in building relationships that produce better quality coffee. Cool hey?
We told Don Daniel that we’d love to see farms like theirs grow so that they can offer more employment to their nearby community. Creating relationships between farmers and roasters in this instance could provide a great exchange between quality coffee and job employment opportunities.
Introducing our first ever exported lot from Finca El Platanar!
Producer: Finca El Platanar (Cherries)
Wet Mill: La Cooperativa San Pedrana Agricola Integral
Varietals: Single Varietal: Caturra
Region: San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Altitude: 1,700+ masl
Harvest: December, 2018 - Feb, 2019
Processing: Fully Washed, Dry Fermentation, Patio Dried
Dry Milling: 15+ Special Preparation in 152lb/69kg Grain-Pro SHB
Cupping Notes: Toffy & Brown Sugars, Lighter Body, Green Apple Acidity, Floral Clove Complexity & Clarity.
Quantity: 18 Bags April, 2019