Farm: Grupo Pavon, Urrao (Vereda Pavon Santa Catalina Pablo Montoya)
Varietal: Caturra, Colombia
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,900 to 2,100 metres above sea level
Owner: 20 smallholder farmers (members of Cooperativa Salgar)
Town / City: Pavón
Region: Urrao, Antioquia
Grupo Pavon Smallholders, Urrao - Colombia
This coffee has been produced by 20 smallholder coffee producers, collaborating under the name Grupo Pavón. Until recently, all Grupo Pavón members had been part of the larger Cooperativa de caficultores de Salgar (Coocafisa) Cooperative. More recently, our export partner in the region has begun directly working with the group; in the hope of creating a more efficient and transparent relationship
Previously, the remote municipality of Antioquia had been hard hit by FARC violence in the 1990s due to its location and lack of infrastructure. While the region is known for agriculture, it is less identified with coffee, and because of the remote location and the violence, the area has been slow to develop the necessary infrastructure for specialty production. With the steps towards normalisation between FARC and the Colombian Government, however, some small scale producers in the region have seized the opportunity and begun to make the most of their location – which presents the perfect conditions for high-quality coffee. The lowest part of the valley lies at 1,900 metres.
Grupo Pavón was heavily inspired by Jose Arcado of Finca la Falda, two-time winner of Cup of Excellence and, coincidentally, also from Urrao. Though working smaller farms than La Falda (which is still small, at approximately 10 hectares), they decided that if they worked together they just might be able to improve their coffee quality so that they could access the speciality market. They succeeded! In 2014 the group achieved 3rd place in Colombia´s COE of 2014, under the name of Pablo Emilio Montoya (one of the group’s leaders), and 2 Top 60 positions in the local Best Cup of Antioquia Competition
The group’s win grabbed the attention of our partner in Antioquia, who had already been expecting great things from Urrao due to their collaboration with Jose Arcado. With the help of Santa Barbara Estates and Pergamino Coffee Exporters, the group has gone from strength to strength and have been able to engage in a long term quality improvement project. Not only has Santa Barbara committed to monthly visits to the cooperative to cup and advise on quality, but they have also committed to purchasing all coffee produced by the group that cups at 86+ points. For this coffee, the producers receive an exceptionally high price that covers the cost of production along with reinvestment in the cooperative itself and includes a specialty coffee premium once the purchased lot has been sold.
This has led, in very little time, to a transparent and consistent relationship with the group and the discovery of some amazing profiles. Mercanta is eager to support these efforts, is proud to offer this exceptional coffee to our market and will continue to support the group as they strive to improve and increase their specialty production.