Raisin, Milk Chocolate & Digestive Biscuits.Region: Pitalito, Huila
Altitude: 1400-2100mImporter: Raw Materials
Crop Year: 2017/18
Red Association is a project our green-buyer Raw Material have undertaken in the Huila region of Colombia to help improve the lot of the region's coffee producers in every respect. Due to deficiencies in local infrastructure or a lack of educational or material resources, the farmers often struggle to become involved with the speciality coffee market and the more sustainable business potentially to be found there.
Raw Material are working hard at origin to change that. Building washing stations and teaching better processing methods for getting the best out of the coffee, they are also improving farming practices and thus the quality and yield of the farmers' crop. The infrastructure needed to transport harvests and workers across the land is also being systematically upgraded to ensure nothing comes between the farmers and their potential market.
They are also ensuring a sustainable career for the farmers and their families by guaranteeing a higher minimum price for the crop than both the market and local standard. They also promise to buy the entire crop that achieves the standards they are helping to promote and establish. This is a massive boon to farmers who historically would not know from one season to the next whether they would find a buyer for their produce and thus have anything even approaching an income by the time the next season comes around.
The region around the township of Pitalito has been their first focus. A vast and varied terrain, covering an area between 1400-2100m above sea level, multiple microclimates exist from farm to farm, meaning a staggered harvest season from one participant in the project to the next. What this gains is a coffee that will be available all year round with a consistency of flavour month on month, and all without ever having to resort to using older green coffee. As the last cup of one harvest is being drunk, the next will be arriving on our shores ready for roasting.