Curibamba Workshops, A Conversation with Ignacio Medina

This past weekend, we journeyed to Chanchamayo for the first of a series of workshops to promote good harvest and post harvest techniques with the local coffee growers. We met with representatives from Edegel, non profit AVSI, and Tostaduria Bisetti of Lima. We also had the good fortune to be accompanied by world renowned food critic & prolific author Ignacio Medina. Ignacio is well known for his discerning palate and is an expert on Latin American cuisine . Read more

First Coffee Workshops for Curibamba Growers This Week

This week we travel to Chanchamayo for the first in a series of workshops for the coffee growers there. This year world coffee prices are low, so our focus will be on coffee quality above all else. Our direct market philosophy doesn’t pay any attention to the bulk wholesale price of coffee, but to a sustainable, equitable pricing that allows for the growers to receive a just price for their coffee. Rather than have some good years, and then years of low prices and economic stagnation for the farmers, we pay a higher, consistent price every year. When prices are low like now, we can insist on better quality and attention to care of the new crop because we’re the best option that actually pays an ethical price. When prices are high though, we’re still able to get great coffee because we’ve built an actual relationship rather than just being another buyer.
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Real People, Really Good Coffee May 2015

 

Parchment Coffee beans

It’s May and in Peru it is the beginning of the coffee harvest season. Soon, we’ll be heading to Lima and from there to the eastern Andes & the rainforests of Chanchamayo. It’s exhilarating and exciting, yet fraught with uncertainties and that uncomfortable background feeling that one gets when faced with the unknown.

We’re still uncertain how many of the small communities of growers were affected by the massive flooding this year & how the coffee quality will be this year. (see Torrential Rains & Mudslides Continue to Plague Peru.)
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Coffee & Farming News from Peru

 

Carrying the Coffee

Here’s an update on some recent articles that I’ve seen on farming & coffee production in Peru. This year Peru is slowly climbing back from the coffee rust which decimated production in 2012. Even last year, coffee production was still less than half of 2011.

The dollar has risen considerable vs the Peruvian Sol (currently S./ 3.14 to $1 USD.) Export prices are down, so there should be a good market, but with coffee prices low, it will be a hard year for many & difficult to cover costs.

In the farming country in the south of the country there have been clashes between police and protesters over a proposed copper mine, meanwhile the government is providing fertilizer and aid in other areas.

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Peru News Roundup

Peru News

Fresh Peruvian Asparagus & Blueberries will be exported to the US according to a recent article in El Comercio. Both countries are developing systems to mitigate the risk of pests such as the fruit fly and allow more a more open process for exports to the US.
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Top 6 museums in Peru

 

A recent article in Peru This Week listed the top 6 museums in Peru. For those interested in ancient cultures and the unique history of Peru (and even chocolate) take note…

 

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US Chocolate Made with Peruvian Cocoa Wins Awards

Peruvian Chocolate

While at the SCAA trade show recently, we sampled some exquisite chocolate from Theo Chocolate. While reading and translating news from Peru, I came across an article that talks about Theo Chocolate & their award winning chocolate made with Peruvian cocoa.

This year they won two more awards – Best New Product & Peoples Choice. What’s even more interesting is what I found out about the company…

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