Meet Our Farmers

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46 | El Mirador

Edy Martinez

Edy has been working with coffee for 22 years. Her husband, Erney, is the one who introduced her to specialty coffee. Of the 5,000 trees at El Mirador, she has 2,500 of the castillo variety and 2,500 of the F4 variety. Together, over the years, their hard work and dedication allowed them to provide for their family and educate their children. Edy is aware that the younger generations are not showing enough interest in coffee farming and wants to show her children the positive side of coffee growing. She sees the development of direct trade relationships as an opportunity to show them there is a good future in the coffee industry.  She knows it is critical to focus on the quality that allows to keep nurturing those relationships.

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47 | Bellavista

Rubio Santacruz

Bellavista is a two and a half hectares farm with 4,000 coffee trees. After inheriting the farm from his father, Rubio now lives there with his wife Adriana. He is passionate about coffee and believes attention to detail is the key to producing a high quality product. Rubio considers Bellavista to be the perfect size- not too big, not too small- allowing him to maintain the property and harvest the coffee to his high standards. Rubio's major complaint about being a coffee grower is the low price he gets for his coffee when he sells it to The Colombian Federation or the Coop combined the increasing cost of production year after year. He is shifting his focus to specialty coffee and believes he can continue to improve the quality of his coffee if he is paid a better price for his product. This will allow him to improve his installations, ultimately improving not only quality but also his efficiency.

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48 | El Placer

Orlando Ortiz

Orlando acquired El Placer from his father. His parents still live on the farm and working with coffee allows him to provide for the whole family. Orlando started cultivating coffee a long time ago and has learned from some mistakes along the way. Originally, he planted the caturra variety but was forced to switch to the castillo variety after leaf rust infested his plantation. Now, with a variety more resistant to disease coupled with the opportunity to develop direct trade relationships, Orlando feels he has a very solid base. He is committed to improving quality year over year and hopes that will correlate to an improved quality of life for him and his family.

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52 | Bellavista

Fabio Santacruz

Fabio Santacruz has been a farmer his entire life. First, he started cultivating "fique" which is the material from which the burlap bags used to store and transport coffee are made. Then he started the transition towards cultivating different varieties of coffee like comun and caturra. The conversion was certainly successful as Fabio has participated in regional coffee competitions for the last four years and has been recognized by several different entities for the quality he produces. Speaking from his experience, Fabio knows that producing high quality coffee is more expensive, but he is not afraid of investing time and resources to get the best quality if the final price recognizes all his efforts. This is what makes developing relationships critical. He is happy to put in the effort to produce a superior coffee if he knows he can get it to the right customer.

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53 | El Naranjo

Angel Ortiz

Home to Angel, his wife, Aura, and their three kids, El Naranjo has 8,000 coffee plants (and several avocado trees as well). It is currently planted with both the Castillo varietal and Variedad 11, but Angel has plans to plant and additional 1,500 Pink Bourbon trees in 2021. During harvest season, Angel employs 7 people from his region. He is adamant that only ripe cherries are picked and that the pulp is removed the same day. The coffee is then left to ferment overnight before he proceeds with the washing process and ultimately moves the coffee to the drying beds. This attention to detail shines through in the quality of the coffee from El Naranjo.

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54 | Bodegas

Edwin Benitez

Edwin has worked with coffee all his life, originally learning to the trade from his father. After his father passed away, he inherited part of his land and continued growing coffee. Edwin knows first hand the hard work and dedication that coffee demands and believes the low coffee prices do not fairly compensate for them. He sees great opportunity in developing direct trades relationships that recognize the quality of the coffee he is producing. Edwin lives with his wife Blastenia, his son Jaider, and his daughter Graicy at Bodegas. He wants to continue the legacy that his father left him, and is now teaching his son the best practices for improving quality. He is hopeful that the evolution of the specialty coffee market will provide some stability for the future generations of coffee growers.

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