Farm: Various Smallholder Farms
Varietal: Caturra, Catuai
Processing: Fully washed
Altitude: 1,500 to 1,600 metres above sea level
Owner: Wilfredo Condori, Pedro Yahahuaya, Gregorio Quispe, & Wilfredo Quispe
Town / City: Illimani & San Antonio
Illimani & San Antonio – Organic - Bolivia
This coffee was produced by smallholder farmers around the neighbouring villages - or ‘colonias’ - of Illimani & San Antonio, remote communities located in Bolivia’s Caranavi province. Illimani was founded in 1968, when a few families in search of land settled in this fertile area. There are now some 30 extended families living in Illimani and the district has its own school and health centre.
The inhabitants of Illimani & San Antonio first began farming coffee around 35 years ago and it is now the only cash crop grown in the district. Farms here are small and traditional - usually no more than 5 hectares in size and farmed without the use of chemicals or pesticides. Almost all work is carried out by the farm’s owners and their extended family, with a handful of temporary workers taken on to help out during harvest.
This lot is made up of a mix of Caturra, Criolla and Catuai varietals, grown in the shade of native trees at an average altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level. The harvest in the region runs from May to September, peaking in June and July. The cherries are picked by hand only when they are fully ripe. They are then prepared using the fully washed proces at the Buena Vista wet mill in
Caranavi (around 10km from Illimani). The lots from the towns were mixed as they are very similar altitudes and the same varieties.
The families that contributed to this lot used to depend on the local market to sell their coffee, meaning low prices and little reliability. Now they are able to sell their top grade coffees for substantially higher prices to our partners at Agricafe, who process specialty lots at their Buena Vista wet mill. Agricafe has also recently initiated a program that they call ‘Sol de la Mañana’, (The Morning Sun) which is designed to combat the negative impacts of turbulent weather and coffee leaf rust in the region. The program has established deomonstration farms where local coffee farmers are trained in sustainable production techniques. These farmers, then, visit communities such as Ilimani and San Antonio and help producers to posit sustainable solutions the the challenges that they face. Farmer-to-farmer training such as this will increase production in this region and to improve quality even futher, insuring a future for Bolivian coffee producers across the region.