Posts

San Martín forest restored after illegal logging and coca planting

One ongoing problem in Peru is illegal mining and logging. Many once virgin rainforest areas have been devastated by clear cutting. As the forest is cut, biodiversity diminishes dramatically and is accompanied by a loss in wildlife and also results in loss of air and water quality, not just in the immediate area, but throughout the entire watershed.

Part of a sustainable future for coffee farmers is recognizing that working with nature vs clear cutting accompanied by composting residual crop waste as opposed to burning is the best way to maintain soil stability (critical on the hillsides,) and preserve nutrients over the long term.

Some areas are being restored according to this report via Peru This week:
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Tarapoto to Villa Rica – A Long Strange Coffee Trip (Part 1)

 

The last week or so had been a series of trips to internet cafes & “locutorios” (where one can make phone calls.) In between the details of organizing a coffee buy, we did manage to enjoy one of favorite places in the world – Tarapoto.

It’s been somewhat frustrating to try and post on the blog. I picked up some malware in one café, and was afraid to log on and compromise the site.

Alas, duty calls and we’re off again (and off the computer again too.) We left Tarapoto in order to get to Villa Rica, and the Chacra D’dago to get some more samples and confirm our final order there, meet some new potential suppliers, and make our way to San Ramon for the second series of Curibamba Workshops this weekend. We’re also making arrangements for the distribution of solar coffee drying tents to the growers in the Curibamba Coffee Project.

It’s a two day journey via land, and there isn’t really any airport option short of flying back to Lima, and then flying to Jauja, which is still several hours to Villa Rica by bus or car. (As an afterthought – flying would have been worth it!) We’re finalizing our purchase of some wonderful coffees that we’ve tested, and visit with our friends, and make some new ones. 

(For more on Tarapoto see here, for more on Chacra D’dago, see here.)

 Here’s what it’s like to travel in Peru to the more remote provinces: Read more

Kichwa Maijuna Conservation Area in Loreto Is Made Official

The Executive Branch issued Supreme Decree No. 008-2015 of the Ministry of Environment official the creation of the Regional Conservation Area Maijuna Kichwa. This comes after representatives of native communities in the basin of the Napo River in Loreto, announced that they would sue the government for the delay in the enactment, which has already waited for two years.

 

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Coffee Cupping, Here’s How It’s Done

 

Yesterday, we cupped some coffee samples that we had been awaiting in order to make our final decisions as to which coffees to import to the US this year. For those who have never “cupped” (taste tested) coffee before, here’s a glimpse into what it’s like:

 

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The Cats of Kennedy Park – Miraflores

 

Statue Dedicate to John F. Kennedy

 

While in Miraflores, be sure to stop by and see Kennedy Park, also known as one of the “Parques de Los Gatos” (Parks of the Cats.) Loaded with unwanted & abandoned cats, cat loving volunteers have worked to insure their health. Each cat is vaccinated & over 35 pounds of food are fed them every day. Here’s a look at the park…
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Peruvian Coffee Exports Down in April

 From an article in Gestion Peru: (Via Google Translate & authors correction)

Peruvian coffee exports totaled 40,371 bags in April, down 9.7% from the 44.685 bags of the same month last year, according to the Peruvian Chamber of Coffee and Cacao.

In the first four months of the year, exports fell 64% to 160,584 from 443,481 bags in the same period of 2014, said Luis Navarro, president of the group based in Lima. Each bag weighs 60 kg or 132 lbs.

According to figures from the Chamber, shipments in 2015 showed the slowest pace since at least 2005.

They (exports) experienced a drop amid low stocks remaining from the previous season, while the rains delayed the harvest that began last month and usually reaches its peak in July.

Peru is the third largest coffee producer in South America, after Brazil and Colombia.

Source: Exportaciones peruanas de café (Gestion via Google Translate) 

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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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