To value a cup of specialty coffee, it is important to recognize the work and effort of coffee farmers like Gildardo Pérez, a small-scale producer and member of Cooperativa Esquipulas (COOPESQUI R.L.), one of 22 MSMEs supported by USAID and CRS´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project.
CLD´s inclusive value chain strategy provides business development services to MSMEs to strengthen farmers’ technical capacity, commercial linkages, and value chain networks.
In 2020, COOPESQUI R.L. participated in the Extraordinary Coffee Workshop (ECWx) event, a joint effort by CLD and U.S.-based Intelligentsia Coffee Company to facilitate small-scale family farmers’ participation in the specialty coffee market. Since the event, Intelligentsia has purchased two single-origin coffee lots from a member of COOPESQUI R.L.
The most recent vendor is farmer Gildardo Pérez, who has accessed a specialty market that recognizes the quality of a coffee grown in privileged mountain climate conditions of La Libertad, Huehuetenango; and his effort in the long journey of up to five years between the time he planted, nourished, picked, and sold the coffee that specialty lovers enjoy each day.
“Producing the best coffee starts with having a quality seed, great climate like the one we have in La Libertad, following the technical advice, and loving our coffee,” Gildardo Pérez.
“For sustainable production and improved quality of life, farmers need a fair price for their product. Last year specialty markets nearly doubled their prices from standard market prices; 100 pounds of standard coffee was valued at Q800 ($110 USD) while specialty coffee was priced at Q1,500 ($200 USD).” Francisco Castillo, COOPESQUI R.L. coffee technician.
CLD´s inclusive value chain strategy continues to work toward the economic empowerment of communities, expanding inclusion, and enabling families to earn a reliable living – conditions which influences people’s decision to stay and thrive in their communities.