Farm: Finca El Mirador
Processing: Fermented for 20 hours & dried on parabolic beds
Altitude: 1,875 metres above sea level
Owner: Segundo Lasso
Town / City: Las Aguilas, La Argentina
Finca La Mirador – Segundo Lasso - Colombia
Segundo Lasso is a member of the renowned Lasso family, the family that founded the organisation, FUDAM, in Nariño and which is a symbol of the pioneer spirit in the coffee growing region of northern Nariño. Although Segundo was born and raised in San Pedro de Cartago Nariño, from where the Lasso family hails, he fell in love with his wife Gisella, who was originally from La Argentina, Huila. The whole Lasso family has grown coffee in Nariño for more than half a century and has a wide support network in the state and region. Segundo’s move was a big one. The drive alone is 9-11 hours by car, and settling down in a new state held uncertainty. However, Segundo hasn’t looked back. He loves his new life and has adapted his amazing coffee growing prowess to the conditions in Huila, where he continues to live with his wife and young daughter.
Segundo’s 5 hectare farm, El Mirador (The Lookout) is planted with 100% Caturra trees. It is unusual to find 100% Caturra in Colombia these days, but Segundo is committed to more traditional varieties.
It’s important to note that the Lasso family has been a leader for coffee growers ever since they planted some of the first coffee seeds in the region almost 60 years ago. The family’s farm, El Trapiche has long been a symbol in the region and has promoted coffee growing across the different municipalities surrounding San Pedro de Cartago. Furthermore, the Lasso family actually was the first to own a mechanical pulper in the region, and they still remember how they moved it from farm to farm on top of an old donkey. They passed on the wealth by letting their neighbors use it as well. Although the family today has 6 adult members (including Segundo), it is Doña Raquel, one of the youngest of the family members (and Abdias’s sister), who leads the association with a golden heart and a limitless passion.
Mercanta’s exporting partner, Pergamino, recently began working with FUDAM in Nariño in order to help them achieve their goal of quality and market access. The project that Pergamino has with FUDAM includes 200 growers across 5 different towns and provides them with a simple and transparent commercial structure in order to connect these growers with importers and roasters throughout the world. Although Segundo is not a member, he has gotten in touch with Pergamino through family members.
Pergamino has previously established similar projects with other small producer organizations in Antioquia, Huila and Cauca, all of which have been hugely successful in identifying high quality lots from small producers and helping producers place these coffees at market for a higher price. In this essential first stage of the quality improvement program, Pergamino is working with FUNDAM in order to understand better the profiles and quality range that the members produce. This involves cupping with the group frequently during the harvest season and also accepting samples into Pergamino’s lab in Antioquia and providing lots of feedback. As an end result, Pergamino will help find markets for all coffees scoring 84 or above. The project has already resulted in small individual lots being separated out and sold at significantly higher premiums to international buyers.
Mercanta has been one of the first (if not the first) to engage with Pergamino on this new project and are excited to learn that Pergamino sees great potential for the future.