Farms name and location:
I named my farm JERUSALEN, and its located in Guajiquirito village where the inhabitants are Lencas and we maintain our culture in all our Guajiquiro community, which means in Lenca dialect BASKET OF WATER; it is located in the Department of La Paz. The coffee farm has an altitude of 1625 meters above sea level, surrounded by beautiful coniferous forests, some black oak trees and smaller shrubs. The departmental capital is at a distance of about 120 km. The farm is managed with an organic fertilization once a year, under the shade of ingas (guama) and other native trees, tissue management in the cultivation is at a level of selective pruning; the labor force used in the farm for the field, picking and processing activities is mainly done by family members, focused in the preservation of the environment but even with this virtues we are not certified yet.
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? I started 1986 working with a lot of effort with coffee, planting at the time 1500 coffee plants of the catuai variety in a property I bought from my cousin Eugenio Mendoza, with an extension of 5 hectares of guamil, in which 3 hectares were producing coffee of the same variety. Right now I have an average production of 60 QQ of parchment coffee, most of my family is involved in the farms activities since it is our main source of income; we also plant corn and beans for family consumption. I have 11 offspring that range from 18 to 51 years old, 5 women and 6 men.
How many persons work in your farm, family members, permanent employees and temporary employees? All my family works on a temporary basis in all the different activities involving the farms management, there is not a single person hired on a permanent basis because it is a small productive unit; we hire about 10 workers and about 10 family members for the harvest, and the wet milling process is assigned to my son Dionisio Cruz.
What natural resources conservation practices do you follow in the farm? 1 The coffee plantation takes place in a relatively flat terrain so there are no problems with erosion; its cultivation is designed in curves at level and coffee is grown under the shade of ingas (guama) and other native trees, organic bocachi fertilizer is used once a year, there is manual weed control and the pruning is selective. 2 The amount of coffee wastewater is low as a result from the wet milling process, since there is a low coffee production level, besides the recollection and process are fractioned in a way that the sub product doesnt represent an inconvenience or have an environmental impact. 3 The solid waste (pulp) resulting from the wet milling process, is used as one of the main products for producing organic bocachi fertilizer, which is used to fertilize the coffee plantation and it maintains and improves the conditions of the soil. What is the shade percentage and the varieties found in your farm? All the coffee in my farm is under inga (guama) shade and other native trees such as guachipilin and black oak with a shade percentage of approximately 40 %. What type of fertilization process do you use in your farm? Organic fertilizer is responsible for the nutrition of the plants, applying 2 pounds per plant once a year.
What type of management do you use in your farm (traditional, semi-technical, technical?) The management of the farm is semi-technical but without the use of chemical products.
Are you part of an association or cooperative? I dont belong to any type of organization since in our area we havent promoted that type of organizations, but it is an idea for the future and I negotiate my coffee with middlemen, exporters and others who pay me at the moment. What is the secret for winning this competition (describe the preparation process of the competing lot)?We have our parcel of coffee located in a geographically prestigious area were we use ecological friendly agricultural practices and the process of picking the coffee is done manually, the wet milling process is traditional to the point that the pulping we do it manually in a pulping machine with 3 water jets in a horizontal cylinder with the brand name J. Gallo, the fermentation is natural and it is washed with clean water from our own water source and then sundried over concrete.
How does it feel to be a winner of the Cup of Excellence? It is my first experience and I feel very happy to have participated in this competition ant to have won fourth place and it encourages me to continue working in this industry and to keep producing quality coffee and to improve my small mill that has no roof and other improvements that need to be made.
Who prepares your coffee for exportation? (Explain how you sell it and to whom)? I negotiate my parchment coffee and I hire someone to transport it to the city of Marcala and I sell it to middlemen and others who pay me there. What is your opinion of the Cup of Excellence? I think it is a good experience that benefits a lot the grower and helps us get to know the quality of our coffee and encourages us to improve our farms and the mill´s infrastructure and we know we get a better price for our coffee.
What has been your experience in the Cup of Excellence? It is my first experience and this year I went to the award ceremony and it was a pleasant experience for me and my son who also came along./td>
|Farmer/Rep.||Victorio Cruz Mendoza|
|Size (30kg boxes)||55|
|Aroma/Flavor||AROMA: cardamom, rose, tropical fruit, lime, blackberries, red wine,FLAVOR: redcurrant, cherry, passion fruit, blackberry, Concorde grape, cinnamon, honey, ginger, apricot, Cape gooseberry|
|Other||well-balanced, creamy, consistent|
|Processing system||Wet Process sun dried|
|Coffee Growing Area||3|
|Auction Lot Size (lbs.)||3630|
|High bidders||Maruyama Coffee, Yamada Coffee (Japan), Orsir Coffee (Taiwan)|