WHY WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH SMALLHOLDER COFFEE FARMERS
This report from the Bosques Verdes Cooperative is rewarding evidence that, even a small specialty coffee roaster like Zest, can make a difference to real people’s lives. Scrolling through photo after photo of farming families in Peru and seeing tangible results of our collaboration, is an amazing heartwarming feeling.
What we love to see is the actual names and faces of the men and women that we have helped in a small way. Suddenly the great distance and divide that tends to make the people who grow our coffee feel so far away evaporates and the well-worn mantra of ethical supply chain relationships takes on real meaning.
Yes, what we can do as a very small player in the global coffee industry is indeed only a “drop in the bucket”. But what it does do is link us with these real people at origin and inspire us to do more to help within the confines of our limited resources. No donation is worthless when it is channeled directly into the hands of needy people to whom even a small contribution means a lot.
Our approach is based on the old idiom, give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for life.
Since 2018 we have been working with the people of Bosques Verdes with the goal of helping them to increase the quality of their produce and therefore the market value. We have made two physical expeditions to the region, in 2018 and 2019, where we worked with particular farmers to research and implement improved fermentation techniques. Each time we provided actual facilities and tools to make the process possible including fermentation tanks, raised drying beds and covered structures to protect the drying beds from the weather.
Last year, Covid made international travel impossible, but this didn’t stop our work with Bosques Verdes. Instead we increased our cooperation donating 40 fermentation tanks to 11 farmers and three covered drying modules. This is the project documented in this report from Bosques Verdes.
In 2021 we also had them produce two microlots using the fermentation processes we recommended and are currently offering these two lots to coffee lovers in Australia.
These microlots are available for purchase from our online store:
Before we finish, we must give a heartfelt shout out to a man who has worked incredibly hard to ensure that our projects have been perfectly implemented and excellent results achieved. To our friend, Alfredo, agronomist and production area manager for Bosques Verdes, thank you so much! Your work has been amazing! You are the man that can really take credit for the success of the project.
As Zest grows, we become more and more committed to our vision of adding value to all stakeholders in the supply chain that brings us our raw material for our delicious brews. And we would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful customers because each time you purchase a bag of Zest coffee you contribute to making it possible for us to help needy farming families – real men, women and children – on the other side of the globe.