Guatemala – FTO Women Producers – ASDECAFE – FLO ID 30330 B10189
Huehugetenango, Guatemala, is a region very well-known for coffee: Its various microclimates, luch environment, and topography can produce some of the finest in Central America, with sparkling acidity and a base of toffee, nutty sweetness. We are glad to source coffee from the second-level co-op ASDECAFE, the Sustainable Coffee Association of Guatemala: This organization comprises various member groups and co-ops in different areas throughout the region of Huehuetenango and El Quiche.
Founded in 2013, ASDECAFE's intention is to create a sustainable structure for producers, and to focus on quality. Its 8 member organizations are similarly interested in various social aspects of coffee, and are dedicated to achieving sustainability as businesses while also continuing to promote gender, environmental, and social initiatives.
For the past two years, Cafe Imports has been pleased to buy a Women Producers lot from ASDECAFE, which comes from the member co-op ASODESI,located in the town of San Pedro Necta, Huehuetenango. Half of the premium that the coffee in this program receives goes directly to the producer, and half goes toward funding a program of the women's choosing. This year, they have focused on buying medication and bringing doctors to the community so that the women and children have easier access tocheck-ups.
ASODESI provides a variety of services to the local community, such as health services and education. It has 117 coffee-growing partners, the majority of whom are maya-mam. ASODESI has a production area of 145 hectares, with an annual production of 6,200 quintales of parchment coffee. The predominant varieties are Catuai, Bourbon, Pache, and Catimor. San Pedro Necta es one of the zones producing the best quality of coffee in Huehuetenango; its microclimates and altitudes range from 1400 to 1800 meters, which provides coffee with an excellent cup.
The overall concept of “sustainability” is based on a strong commitment to the protection of the environment, equal distribution of the generated profits, business transparency, a strong commitment to quality and long-term relationships with clients and suppliers, including Cafe Imports, which was one of the first companies to buy from ASDECAFE.
ASDECAFE currently has Fair Trade and organic certification, and is hoping to diversify by adding Rainforest Alliance. The growers typically producearound 30,000 bags of exported coffee, which is brought to central warehouses in parchment, and is milled and exported by a third party. ASDECAFE has spear-headed efforts to promote Women Producers coffee, as well as lots that are grown specifically by young farmers, to try to encourage youth to stay in coffee production. Other groups have asked to join ASDECAFE because they have seen and appreciate the sustainability focus the organization has, but as of 2017 the organization is not accepting new members, in an effort to focus its energy and maintain control of quality and the impact of the work.