The Regional Select program was started as a way to highlight unique profiles found to be innate to specific regions within coffee producing origins. These inherencies are often due to processing legacy, variety prominence, and overall terroir. Additionally, this program allows for numerous small farmers to contribute to a larger offering through the selective blending of their coffees.
In Colombia, the regions that were originally highlighted were: Huila, Narino, Cauca and Tolima. The program is now expanded to include select regions from Peru and Guatemala, with more regions to come.
The Variety Select program exists to highlight the innate characteristics present among different Arabica coffee varieties. Additional energy is put into separating and processing these coffees at origin for this program.
We pay a premium based on cup scores; higher score equals higher premium.
90 points is over $4.00.
Above 88 points means a micro-lot premium and 86 points equals our Regional Select premium.
Before Gran Galope, the other coffees, anything below 86 (that’s where most of the coffee lies), received the FNC price or the posted street price. In today’s market of about $1.20, this standard price is simply an unfortunate break-even price for an entire year’s-worth of what we all know is hard, committed, and disciplined work.
With Gran Galope, we are identifying the top lots from those still-solid but lesser cupping coffees (think 84-85 points), paying a premium to the farmer and bulking them together to make full containers of delicious, rich chocolatey Colombian coffee.
Women Coffee Producers
In 2011, Café Imports green buyer Piero Cristiani was sourcing in Mexico with producer partners at CESMACH and saw that there were a considerable number of women producers dropping coffee off for processing. On the heels of our women’s producer program in Guatemala with CODECH, Piero presented the program to CESMACH, wherein coffee from independent women producers are kept separate. A premium is paid for those coffees in an effort to support these women who, more often than not, are single parents providing for their families.
This program was then established, and coffees contributed by the women producers of CESMACH was kept seperate for the 2012 harvest. The CESMACH Women Producer offerings comprises hand-picked and sorted coffees grown on farms no larger on average than 4 hectares. There are 32 communities represented by these coffees, from the municipalities of Ángel Albino Corzo, La Concordia, Montecristo de Guerrero, and Siltepec.
The coffee will continue to be developed into a more formalized program, expanding to other origins in the future.
What is a microlot? We define a microlot as a specific harvest of coffee, usually 10-75 bags that contains exceptionally cared for beans with an elevated level of traceability back to the farm where it came from. We believe that microlots are some of the world’d best coffee because of the care and attention given to them.
The goal of Fairtrade (also known as Fairtrade International or FLO) is to create partnerships and terms of trade that will be financially and ethically beneficial to producers. Fairtrade terms ensure that the financial benefits of trade transactions are felt at origin. Additionally, these terms look to equalize many of the instabilities of trade in the supply chain. La Bodega is Fairtrade certified and offers many Fairtrade certified coffees as part of regular inventory. Any customer, whether their business is Fairtrade certified or not, can know in purchasing Fairtrade certified coffees from La Bodega that a Fairtrade premium was paid to the producer and that the purchase transaction complied with Fairtrade International’s terms of certification.
You can find out more about Fairtrade coffees and certification at http://www.fairtrade.net/about-fairtrade/what-is-fairtrade.html
Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is the leading 3rd party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Its goals are aligned with Fair Trade International, but it is a separate entity from Fairtrade International and has its own unique certification ID system. As such, Fairtrade International does NOT recognize Fair Trade USA certifications, but Fair Trade USA recognizes Fairtrade International certifications as valid. This is important to note if your certification is through Fairtrade International, but you are interested in a Fair Trade USA certified coffee. Currently only a small minority of producers are Fair Trade USA certified only.
You can find out more about Fair Trade USA coffees and certification at: http://fairtradeusa.org/about-fair-trade-usa/who-we-are
Organic coffee means that no pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic additives, or industrial solvents were used during growth, harvest, processing, or transportation. It is important to note that many different countries maintain different organic standards. La Bodega is a certified organic handler and purchases coffee that is NOP (US), EU, and COR (Canada) certified organic*. La Bodega uses Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) as our certifying body.
You can find out more about MCIA and organic coffee here: http://www.mciaorganic.org/