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Feb 27, 2020

Processing coffee to sell it at a fair price

Processing coffee to sell it at a fair price

 

Dear Donors

Since november, we have started with the coffee harvest, which will last approximately two more months. This activity will trigger the employment of people in the communities during a short season, so, all the family concentrates their work in the coffe harvest.This year, there is a very good coffee production; it has become clear that, the restoration and maintenance work that has been carried out on the agroforestry systems of shade coffee plantations are giving good results.

The contrast between the conventionally managed coffee plantations and the agroecological coffee plantations with resources from this project is remarkable. In productive terms the yields are similar. However, in agroecological coffee plantations, healthier plants and better conserved soils are observed and the production costs are lower due to the decrease in the use of agrochemicals.

The theme of this period is the production process. Coffee has two industrial transformatios after harvesting. The first one is just after harvested the coffee cherry, in which the pulp or the coffee cherry is removed and the grain is dried. At this stage a pulper machine is used; frecuently this stage needs a lot of water to wash the grain. Then, the grain is dried and can be stored in sacks for several months. The second process is to take away a film of the grain, but it is done until it will be sold to the distributor or toaster.

For many years, coffee producers have sold their coffee in cherry, without giving any added value to their production, thus the producers receive only 6% of the price that the consumer pays. Nowadays  there are growing the producers organizations that seek to appropriate the entire value chain. Several organizations have managed to open markets for small coffee producers and sell even roasted and ground coffee.

This year we are begining the first step in the value chain. 30 families have started selling quality coffee. To ensure quality we had several trainings on the wet coffee beneficiary. Although some producers have experience in pulping coffee, quality standards are increasingly demanding. Experienced producers are updating their knowledge and sharing them with the rest of the group, in which several women participate. For women, this is a new activity, since previously they did not participate in the coffee production process.

Likewise, the quality of each producer's coffee is being analyzed by a specialized laboratory through physical and flavor tests to find opportunities to improve quality.

En this stage and to continue with the agroecological process, ecological water-saving pulping machines are being tested to remove the pulp of the grain and solar dehydrators to dry the coffee.

As we informed you in the previous report, the group has already committed a part of its production, with a good price, however, we are still looking for fairer markets.

In this way, we continue to invite our donors to continue supporting this project that is allowing to find strategies for the dignified life and good living of the families of San Miguel Tlapexcatl and Limones in the municipality of Cosautlán, Veracruz, Mexico. We remind you that, due to the austerity policies of the current government, support for the peasant sector is restricted, so it is more than ever necessary the support and solidarity of independent donors, as do those who kindly already finance some actions of This project through the Gloval Giving Foundation platform.

 Thank you.

 Gabriela Guzmán

Estudios Rurales y Asesoría Campesina A. C.

 

Photos:

1. Fully Ripe Coffee Harvest

2. Coffee Processing Course

3. Ecological pulping machine

4. Pulping coffee with ecological machine

5. Solar dehydrator for coffee beans

6. Coffee samples to be analyzed

Nov 25, 2019

Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico

Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico

 

(july-september 2019 report)

 

Dear Donors.

During the previous months we have continued to work despite the lack of financial income that will help support our project, but not reducing our enthusiasm and desire to continue working towards the construction of a better world.

The coffee harvest cycle has practically begun, which is why the tasks performed during the first months of the year will be reflected in a good harvest. In this regard we have been working for our coffee production company to market part of the harvest of this cycle. We have signed an agreement for the sale of at least 100 quintals of quality and organic parchment coffee with the Cooperativa Campesinos in Lucha Agraria, with whom we agreed a base price of 2,400 Mexican pesos per quintal of conventional coffee, as well as 3,000 Mexicans pesos per quintal of organic coffee. These prices are higher than those of the local conventional market, which pays around 1,500 Mexican pesos per quintal. On the other hand, during this month, progress will be made in the construction of solar dehydrators that have not yet been completed and that will serve to dry the coffee beans of the next harvest.

We have worked on the monitoring of native honeycomb nests, particularly those that were divided during the previous months, observing a good development with very good harvest and division expectations for next year. It will be important for fellow participants to participate in the care that is required during the coming cold months to prevent these bees from dying and staying until the next stage of flowering, around the month of December.

The women team that currently operates the microenterprise for the production of handmade soaps, shows interest in continuing to see this initiative grow. It is important to mention that the acquisition of the raw material, such as the oils and fragrances with which the soaps are made, has been hindered, so that in some cases the production of some of our production has stopped. However, this does not represent a loss because there is always supply of most of our presentations. On the other hand, during the following months the team will carry out the necessary actions to promote the products. At this stage, we will look for a partner outside the community that is responsible for marketing our products due to the limitations imposed by distance from urban centers. Likewise, social networks will be used to promote the products. There is already a page on Facebook, Instagram and in the following months we will begin upload information about our products and company.

We hope to continue actively counting with your support to implementing useful and necessary proposals in rural to respond to the crisis emerged from rust infestation and other factors that we continue combating.

Thank’s

Jun 28, 2019

Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust, June 2019 Report

Dividing a melipona nest
Dividing a melipona nest

During last quarter, in Sustainably Facing Coffee Rust in Mexico Project, we have focused our efforts mainly in a) the processing of coffee beans to make them available on the market, b) the division of native bees nests, c) experiencing the drying of fruits from the region and d) introducing a new cosmetic alternative product to be produced by women groups.

Coffee beans processsing. Quality coffee process was completed. It was a very short harvesting season due to the high temperatures. Processed coffee samples are being analyzed to assess their quality and to identify areas that may influence to improve the quality of the coffee in the next cycle 2019/2020.

Solar dehydrators. Tests are underway to dry regional fruits currently left in the field, to take advantage of the installed capacity during the season where there is no coffee. We have tested dried banana, mango, mamey, turmeric, ginger and tomato. Dehydrated products which have had greater acceptance are mango, banana, turmeric and ginger. However experimental drying and shelf tests are continuing to improve the process.

Native bees. The most important management stage in hives (the division of nests) was initiated. An experienced meliponas keeper trained 28 partners to identify which nests are susceptible of division and harvest of honey, and which others should expect the nest for a higher growth. Transfering was also made to make all the hives at INPA/Atzalan box because it is the one which facilitates handling of the beehives, without affecting the nest or bees and allow a stable inside temperature throughout the year.

In this process, a team of promoters who participated in all Works was formed to develop capacities and ensure that producers with skills to solve nest problems are present in every community.

Women groups. We continue with the production and sale of handmade soaps as a way to generate income for women. Increasingly, the members of the group are assuming more responsibilities in the sale of their products. In this quarter the group grew and joined a new product, the repellent for mosquitoes, which has had great acceptance in the Limones community.

Thank you for your trust and support to this project and look forward comments and suggestions from you all.

Melipona box
Melipona box
Training workshop on Meliponas management
Training workshop on Meliponas management
 
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