Farm: Finca La Falda
Altitude: 1,940 metres above sea level
Owner: Jose Arcadio Caro Rueda
Town / City: Urrao, Vereda de San Carlos
Overall: Very sweet, maple, hint of savory, brown sugar, cherry
Finca La Falda - Colombia
Born and bought up in Urrao, Anitoquia by coffee producing parents, Jose Arcadio Rueda’s passion for coffee was encouraged from a young age. Today this passion is shared by his wife, Marbeluz, and teenage son, Santiago, both of whom help Sr. Arcadio on the farm. Over the 16 years since buying the plot, they have together built up a plantation of 9500 trees of Caturra variety (locally known as Caturro Chirozo).
The family’s interest in specialty coffee was ignited five years ago when they won the very first regional coffee contest in which they participated. The success of being recognized as one of the best coffees in Antioquia combined with their desire to continue producing high quality coffee gave them the motivation to continue competing. Their hard work culminated in 2013, when Finca La Falda placed 7th in the Colombian Cup of Excellence. This was a significant win not just for the Arcadio Rueda family but also for the Department of Antioquia, who is a major player in the coffee production of the country but had never before ranked in the Cup of Excellence top 10.
Finca La Falda is 10 hectares but only 3 are planted with coffee – the rest is planted with corn, beans and tomatoes, which help the family to supplement their income year-round. As such, the Finca produces only around 55 bags of green coffee a year.
As opposed to most farms in Colombia, Finca La Falda’s main harvest (70%) is in the fly-crop season (February-May); the additional 30% is harvested in October-December. His success at Cup of Excellence has sparked Jose Arcadio's desire to plant more coffee. His goal is to plant 8,000 new Caturra trees by the end of 2014. He does not plan, however, to compete in the Cup of Excellence program again. By participating in the contest once and placing so high, he expresses that he has firmly established the reputation of Finca La Falda and is securing fair and sustainable prices for his coffee. Instead of pursuing more competitions, he will focus on making sure that the quality of his coffee remains high across the board.
For Sr. Arcadio and his family, the success of being recognized as one of the best coffees of Antioquia and of Colombia is the highest satisfaction they can achieve. Even beyond the recognition, however, is the joy and love they feel knowing that they are putting their all into producing high quality coffee. Their long-term goal of planting more coffee, striving for greater quality and spreading the word to the rest of the world is one shared by the Department of Antioquia, and Mercanta looks forward to increasingly great things not just from Finca La Falda but also from the entire region.