Coffee Farmers.

Rowley

New member
Mar 7, 2003
323
0
California
I hear alot of coffee plantations and what seems to be families that have owned them for generations. As a student also interested in International Trade and Political Science, does anyone have family or direct experience with coffee import/export between consumer and farming businesses?
 

Fincalady

New member
Nov 2, 2003
32
0
Jayuya, PR
Coffee Fincas in Puerto Rico

My partner & I have owned & operated a small coffee farm in the mountains of PR for almost 20 years - and, yes, we sell our coffee directly to the consumer. I could probably answer some of your questions.
 

Fincalady

New member
Nov 2, 2003
32
0
Jayuya, PR
From Puerto Rico

Our customer base is small, but loyal - and for the most part, our advertising is word-of-mouth! We do not have a website of our own at this time, but we do share a space on an PR eco-tourism site. We prefer communicating with new customers by email first so that from the get-go, we can offer friendly, personalized service.
 

wulf

New member
Oct 29, 2003
55
0
London, UK
I'm interested in Fairtrade Issues - any perspectives from a producers' point of view?

Also, when you talk about 'consumers' do you mean folks like me (buying for personal use only) or business such as coffee roasters?

Wulf
 

Fincalady

New member
Nov 2, 2003
32
0
Jayuya, PR
Coffee Production in Puerto Rico

Ok...I can only give you the economic facts here in PR.
During coffee harvest time here, beans are measured by means of an "amuda" - a bucket that holds 28# of raw beans. This is worth anywhere from $8.00 to $10.50 depending on the quality (red & ripe or too much green!). The coffee picker is paid $4.00 for that same 28# - and a sandwich for lunch if he or she is lucky! On some farms where new hybid coffee is grown, a picker can pick 10 (+/-) amudas a day. On a farm like my own, steep & mountainous with tall, old Arabica trees under triple shade, a picker is lucky to pick 3 or 4 amudas. My partner & I can't find a picker to save our lives! We pick it all ourselves! And here's an astounding fact - That 28# of raw coffee turns into only 4# of roasted beans!
We have only 5 cuerdas of coffee here (about 5 American acres). We grow organically and our production is small. And after the coffee is sun-dried and we have removed the inner, papery shell, we handpick thru all the beans to remove any that are inferior. The end result is a delicious, robust coffee with absolutely no bitterness! But we simply don't have enough coffee to sell to any professional roasters. We deal directly only with individuals who find us & decide that FINCA DEL SETO CAFE is truly a fine coffee!
I have photos of our coffee production ready to share over the Internet if anyone is interested.
 

wulf

New member
Oct 29, 2003
55
0
London, UK
Re: Coffee Production in Puerto Rico

Fincalady said:
We deal directly only with individuals who find us & decide that FINCA DEL SETO CAFE is truly a fine coffee!
If you do the whole process yourself, from growing to selling to the consumer, then I guess "Fair Trade" is a moot point for you - if you're earning a livable wage for the prices you sell at, then that's a fair deal. It's interesting to hear a bit more about how it works out though - for example, the amount you pick and how much it shrinks with drying and roasting.
I have photos of our coffee production ready to share over the Internet if anyone is interested.
I, for one, would be fascinated to see them.

Wulf
 

Jorge Diaz

New member
Dec 24, 2003
4
0
Hello:
It was interesting to hear about your finca. What kind of yields are you getting per plant? Thank you Jorge
 

Fincalady

New member
Nov 2, 2003
32
0
Jayuya, PR
Coffee Plant Yields

Sorry, that's an impossible question to answer, Jorge. We're farming 3-4 cuerdas (acres +/-) and our yearly harvest runs from 1500-3000lbs. a year. We buy coffee from our immediate neighbors to boost our total numbers. We do NO spraying of pesticides & our coffee trees are a very old strain of Arabica. No super hybrids here!
 

Jorge Diaz

New member
Dec 24, 2003
4
0
Hello:
Thank you for answering so quickly. I'm from the island originally and always thought I would go back to grow coffee. Is your strain one you obtained from old coffee trees? How many trees do you have? and how what kind of shade you use? Guaba?
Thanks again.
Felicidades y un Prospero New Year
Jorge
 

Fincalady

New member
Nov 2, 2003
32
0
Jayuya, PR
PR Coffee

Our finca has been producing coffee for well over 150 years. Since coffee is self-pollinating, the strain stays pure and any new trees that we cultivate come straight off our farm. The folks here call it "Cafe del Pais"; we believe it to be a Boubon type of Arabica. Our trees tend toward tall & gangly (hard to pick oftentimes), but we are also able to cut them WAY BACK, wait a few years, and then they start producing again. Some of our trees are VERY old! We grow under triple shade.
Contact me directly, Jorge, and I'll be pleased to talk more & share some photos with you if you'd like. FELICIDADES!
 

Jorge Diaz

New member
Dec 24, 2003
4
0
The weather must be lovely this time of the year!! Contact you at your email?? What's the address? Western Mass in rainy and cold right now...
Jorge
 
Top