Microlots from Peru are a new addition to our list. We are thrilled to showcase this high-potential origin in a different light than the classic certified cooperative lots. We have teamed up with the local sourcing operation of Red Fox to access some of the tastiest coffees in Peru. Our list features coffees from three cooperatives, as well as two single producer lots. All are Fairtrade and organic certified. And delicious! Nothing but goodness in your cup.
The coffees are arriving during the holidays and will be available at the start of the new year.
The cooperatives we will introduce to you are:
Rutas del Inca.
A fairly new cooperative deep in the Cajamarca department of northern Peru. Cajamarca was traditionally a big mining region because of its mineral resources. Only recently it gained popularity as one of Peru’s high-potential coffee growing regions. The history of the Rutas del Inca cooperative is closely tied to this mining history. Many large mining companies try to compensate for past mistakes by supporting the socioeconomic development of local communities. For its high potential in the region, the conversion to coffee cultivation received a lot of support from these companies. With the funding, new cooperatives were created, among which Rutas del Inca, and farmers changed their traditional crops (potatoes, livestock,…) to the cash crop.
Since these new cooperatives received substantial financial resources, they could invest in planting high-quality varieties like Caturra, Typica and Pache. To make all that potential real, they also invested in proper infrastructure at each plantation so each producer could properly process his coffee cherries.
In the selections, we cupped many lots of Rutas del Inca. Time after time, they came out as favourites! A really impressive operation from high in the Peruvian Andes. The average growing altitude lies around 2000 meters above sea level!
Full name: Cooperativa Valle del Marañón. Another FTO certified cooperative from the Cajamarca department. Proyecto Especial Jaen San Ignacio y Bagua (PEJSIB) created this cooperative as part of a larger environmental preservation project. The cooperative currently has 350 coffee producing members. Coffee producers at the higher altitudes here (1800 – 1900m) cultivate the high-quality Typica, Caturra and Pache varieties. Each producer has his own processing unit with depulping machine, fermentation tank, washing tank and water recirculation system.
Also known as: the cooperative that produced the number 1 winning lot of the very first Cup of Excellence in Peru this year. You don’t want to miss this coffee. COOPAGRO operates near Jaén in the Cajamarca department – yes we did love those Cajamarca coffees! And for a reason. The potential for coffee in the region is so incredibly high. Thanks to soils rich in organic matter, the classic varieties (Caturra, Bourbon, Typica) come out with such bright and beautiful cup profiles that cupping descriptors fail to represent accurately. They even out-cup Geisha coffees! Organic crop cultivation is more widespread in Peru than any origins, so those soils have remained nice and clean.
COOPBAM: a cooperative in Alto Mayo in the Amazonas department. COOPBAM stands for Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Bosque del Alto Mayo. It was created by ICAM, or Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative. The holistic cooperative focuses heavily on battling deforestation and protection of the native forest, as well as socioeconomic development. Since coffee is still a major driver of deforestation, the project targets the coffee producers in the protected area to raise awareness and help them change to an environmentally and tree-friendly cultivation system.
By creating an organic and fairtrade certified cooperative, the project helped create a lot of job opportunities, not only through coffee but also through reforestation programs. COOPBAM also created 4 women’s committees to represent women’s rights. They helped improve access to education and healthcare. They delivered cooking stoves to their member households, launched medical campaigns and installed solar panels.