Farms name and location:
The members farms of this coffee growers association are located in Belen Centro near the urban area of the municipality of Belen, Ocotepeque, Honduras , Central America. What is your farms history? Is your farm a family unit? How long has it belonged to your family? How many members make up your family? The coffee started being cultivated by the inhabitants of Belens urban area, Ocotepeque, in the year 1922, when the first seeds from the Typica variety were brought to this land from the Republic of El Salvador . In 2011, 15 coffee growing families decided to get organized to solve certain aspects dealing with this activity. Each one of the parcels with grown coffee is a family unit were each family member participates in the process of growing the coffee, especially in the picking process. The families origin is Lenca.
How many persons work in your farm, family members, permanent employees and temporary employees? In these small production units it is not a common practice to hire temporary workers; all the work is done by family members, all specialized by culture in the picking of the ripened fruit. What natural resources conservation practices do you follow in the farm? This coffee growing community is located in Parque Nacional Montana de Celaque which obligates its inhabitants to be extremely careful with the forests resources, protecting the water sources found in micro-watersheds. The soil where the oldest plantations are found are protected through cultural practices such as: farm management cleaning of the weeds using a tool called machete pando. New plantations are cultivated outlining the slope with 60% shade, resulting in good soil coverage.
What is the shade percentage and the varieties found in your farm? 60% of the oldest plantations are under the shade, the new plantations, due to more dense cultivation, are handled under regulated shade up to 40%, the plant species used for shade are inga in association with fruit trees such as avocado and citrus.
What type of fertilization process do you use in your farm? Organic fertilization for the oldest plantations, the newer ones with inorganic fertilizers. What type of management do you use in your farm (traditional, semi-technical, technical?)Semi-technical management with little use of chemical products, due to the altitude there are no plagues or diseases.
Are you part of an association or cooperative? This organization is a member of a cooperative called COCAFELOL (COOPERATIVA CAFETALERA LA LABOR OCOTEPEQUE LIMITADA.)What is the secret for winning this competition (describe the preparation process of the competing lot)? The secret is in the cultivation process, in the mountains and in the involvement of our members in organization processes, training and quality competitions dealing with the cups profile. In this ninth edition of the cup of Excellence we reached nineteenth place, sincerely the fact of being in an organization helps to get to know processes and create opportunities to promote our organization and coffee; in our circle there are many cupping sessions in which our coffee has been present and due to the scores received we have been advised to participate in competitions such as Cup of Excellence. Our coffee is picked by our members only when it is ripe, before pulping we classify it manually, then we place it in water to eliminate floaters, then it is pulped without water, then its naturally ferments in tanks or wooden containers and in some cases in sacs and jute bags, and the drying process is done in sieves under the concept of sun drying. We carefully store it in our houses, when it comes the time to negotiate an IHCAFE cupper monitors its quality. How does it feel to be a winner of the Cup of Excellence? In the 2011-2012 harvest having reached nineteenth place among many of the countrys coffees is a blessing and a reward for the enormous effort it takes to process the coffee from the start when it is a small plant. We are sincerely extremely happy to know that we will be known even if its just through photographs, our neighbors will be more encouraged to do things better, and it is a possibility that our country Honduras will also be more recognized due to good things like our coffee.
Who prepares your coffee for exportation? (Explain how you sell it and to whom)In the 2010-2011 harvest it was prepared by Cooperativa Cafetalera Trinidad Santa Barbara Limitada and in the 2011-2012 harvest by Beneficio de Cafe Santa Rosa, in Santa Rosa de Copan. We delivered parchment coffee. The 2010-2011 harvest we sold an estimated 80 qq green coffee to a Japanese company called ATAKA; this harvest we also sold them 80 qq of green coffee.
What is your opinion of the Cup of Excellence? It showcases our coffee and it is an expensive process especially for the grower that doesnt participate in the online auction. What has been your experience in the Cup of Excellence? It is our second time participating and we are encouraged to continue participating.
|Farmer/Rep.||Cooperativa Mixta Belen Gualcho Ltda.|
|Size (30kg boxes)||33|
|Aroma/Flavor||AROMA: lemon, floral, honey, chocolate, caramel,FLAVOR: honey, cedar, honeydew melon, orange,marmalade, green grapes, cinnamon|
|Acidity||lively, persisted to cool, citric|
|Other||long caramel finish|
|Processing system||Wet Process sun dried|
|Coffee Growing Area||63|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||2178|
|High bidders||Hiro Coffee Co.,Ltd.|