Let’s Talk Relationship Coffee Most Valuable Producers (MVPs)
their stories of producing amazing coffees.
Location: Garzón, Huila, Colombia
Coocentral is a large, well-organized cooperative that buys more than 10.2 million kilograms of parchment coffee from 16,625 members throughout the department of Huila, Colombia. The high altitudes and temperate climates of Huila influence the consistent high quality of Coocentral’s coffee, which sings of citrus, caramel, and honey. Mauricio Rivera is Coocentral’s general manager.
LUIZ RODRIGUES SALDANHA
Organization: Fazenda California
Location: Norte Pioneiro do Parana, Brazil
Luiz Rodrigues is an agronomist who in 2004 inherited the Brazilian coffee farm Fazenda Califórnia in Parana, an unusual region for coffee production because it’s located outside the tropical belt. Luiz set upon developing new managing and production systems to achieve a future of sustainability in the specialty and certified coffee value chain. He is a Certified Q Grader and an international judge of the Brazilian Cup of Excellence program.
Location: Jinotega, Nicaragua
Fatima Ismael is a former agronomist who assumed leadership of Soppexcca in the early 2000s and quickly became a trusted leader of the farmers. Fatima brought an impressive vision for Soppexcca, including solid business practices, extremely transparent operations, and progressive initiatives to improve gender equality within the co-op.
Location: San Ignacio, Cajamarca, Peru
Formed in 1968, the Frontera cooperative is one of the oldest coffee co-ops in the San Ignacio region in northwestern Peru. Frontera’s mission is to improve the quality of life of its members and their families by providing a sustainable livelihood and establishing the cooperative as one of the most unified organizations in San Ignacio. Pedro Martinez is the longtime manager of the cooperative.
Organization: Azahar Coffee
Location: Armenia, Quindio, Colombia
Tyler Youngblood is one of the founders of Azahar Coffee, a line of single-origin coffees traceable to individual farmers across Colombia. Azahar works with more than 20 farms in Colombia, located in the Antioquia, Huila, Narino, and Quindio regions.
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Angelique Karekezi is the managing director of Rwashoscco, a farmer-owned marketing, exporting, and roasting company. Rwashoscco seeks to produce some of the finest coffees in Africa and return the quality premiums paid for the coffee to the smallholder farmers who depend on coffee for their livelihood.
Organization: Kaba Cafe
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Kattia Barrantes grew up in a family of farmers who have been growing coffee for three generations. She is the founder of specialty coffee trading company Kaba Cafe, and also owns a coffee farm in the highlands of Costa Rica’s West Valley, where she grows over 145 acres of high-quality coffee.
MIRIAM MONTEIRO DE AGUIAR
Organization: Fazenda Cachoeira
Location: Sul de Minas, Brazil
Miriam Monteiro de Aguiar is the owner of Fazenda Cachoeira, a Brazilian estate founded by her family in 1830. Located in the south of Minas Gerais state at an altitude of between 3,200 and 4,000 feet, Fazenda Cachoeira is devoted to the principles of organic and biodynamic agriculture.
Organization: Hacienda La Esmeralda
Location: Boquete, Panama
Rachel Peterson is the director of marketing and sales at Hacienda La Esmeralda, a family-owned farm on the slopes of Panama’s Mount Baru. The farm produces one of the most highly renowned coffees in the world, the Esmeralda Especial, which received a historic value of $350.25 during the 2013 Best of Panama auction.
JUAN DAVID RENDON
Organization: Cooperativa de Andes
Location: Antioquia, Colombia
Juan David Rendon is the general manager of Cooperativa de Andes, a Colombian cooperative that works in five communities: Andes, Betania, Jardín, Cuidad Bolivar, Hispania, and El Carmen de Atrato. The co-op collects coffee from more than 11,000 smallholders throughout the southwestern part of the state of Antioquia.
Organization: Sol & Cafe
Location: Cajamarca, Peru
Javier Dominguez is general manager of Sol & Cafe (Sun and Coffee), a democratic organization of smallholder producers organized into 27 base associations. The cooperative is dedicated to protecting the environment and improving the quality of life for families in the region.
Location: Espírito Santo, Brazil
Daniel Piazzini represents Coopeavi, a large multi-sector cooperative whose main product is eggs but started working with coffee about 10 years ago and has seen enormous growth in the category. Coopeavi produces both Arabica and Robusta/Conilon coffee, though the latter category is expanding rapidly.