OSIAS CARRASCO, PERU
Cultivar: Costa RIca 95
Osias Carrasco owns 2 hectares of land in the la Palma village in Colasay. Osias grows caturra and Costa Rica 95 at an altitude of 1800 to 1900 masl. Once picked Osias washes his coffee and removes all floaters before pulping and fermenting for around 36 hours. The coffee is then dried on lined patios for 10 to 14 days.
La Palma is a village in the district of Colasay and most of the coffee producers in this area have farms between 1,700 and 2,000 masl and grow caturra, costa rica 95 and castillo varieties. The area is fairly remote and isolated, which has meant that very few buyers have worked directly with producers in this area and aggregators have thrived. Despite this, the coffee has a huge amount of potential, due to the growing conditions and varieties, it seems that there is a lot more Costa Rica 95 in this area, which has adapted well and seems to give a very unique, floral profile. Coffee is generally picked and processed by the producers themselves, fermented for 24 to 36 hours and then dried on tarpaulin mats.
Peru Overview by Falcon Speciality:
We have been working in Northern Peru for several years, buying specialty coffee from cooperatives and associations with whom we have built lasting relationships. Whilst a lot of the arrival quality we have seen in previous seasons has been good, we have struggled to impact upon that quality or make improvements in the supply chain as we would like. More importantly, the premiums we had been paying for quality rarely makes it directly back to producers, something we have had very little control over in previous years.
In Peru, like some other origins, coffee farmers are sensitive to market changes and often lack basic training and the incentive to produce higher qualities of coffee, as premiums often don’t materialise. For these reasons we decided we needed to change the way we buy coffee in Peru and work directly with producers, allowing us to control and improve upon existing quality and have full financial traceability. Ensuring these two factors would help us to pay higher prices for the coffees and to make sure that producers received a fair price for the coffee they delivered us, above the market price. In order to do this, we set up a warehouse in Jaen and started to buy in parchment directly from producers.
The Cajamarca region holds a lot of potential for quality coffee, with ideal growing conditions and great varieties, but quality is often lost in picking, processing and drying, with producers lacking infrastructure and knowledge. The most vulnerable producers are those that are unassociated – those who aren’t members of a cooperative, association or organisation – and they represent 75% of producers in Northern Peru. These producers don’t have access to training sessions or premiums for quality or certifications, and their income is totally dependent on the market price. Often, local aggregators – a buyer who lives in the same area – will come to the farm or house of a producer and buy their coffee for cash before selling it on; in some cases, directly to an exporter or more often to other traders and middlemen. This results in the producer being paid very little for their coffee and a lot of quality coffee is lost.
(In partnership with Falcon Coffees)
(Photo of Costa Rica 95 varietal credit of World Coffee Research)