From Huila over to “Valle del Cauca” in Colombia

| August 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

My trip within the coffee heart of Colombia last week included the beautiful Valle del Cauca starting from the city of Cali.

This was my first visit to this area and I was honored to be invited by FNC’s “Comite Departamental de Cafeteros del Valle Cauca”

The Executive Director Mr. Hector Fabio Cuellar Lopez and his team have structured an outstanding Micro Region – Micro lot identification program throughout the whole Valley.

23,000 producer’s families live in the Valley and benefit from the “Microcuenca“ (Micro water resource preservation area) program focused on preserving water, the overall environment, high quality production skills and open access to market.

Within the Valle del Cauca, the Comite Departamental supports producers through 5 equidistant Coops and storage warehouses, a complete “Q “lab, training + certifying of Q graders for producers and professionals.

The commercialization and export activities are centralized by the CAFEXCOOP S.A. Trilladora in Valle del Cauca, an ultra-modern and grand sized mill with separated commercial grade and Micro lot preparation equipment.

As the whole Valley has been mapped by its 151 mountain water resource area traceability along the 39 coffee municipalities and 78 districts attended by the Extension Service.

Then the quality; I had the opportunity to cup 2 series of diverse Micro Cuenca lots, they blew my mind as all scored very close to the SCAA 90 points!

The diversity of flavor notes within the range that Colombian coffees provide were evident in the samples I cupped, most in fact were derived from the new Castilla plants.

Quantity-wise, the Valle del Cauca is the most important part of the successful results set by FNC’s plantation renewal program.

After visiting and meeting the CAFEXCOOP team and facilities, cupping the exciting Micro lots, I was taken up the Cordillera at 1650 meters altitude in Trujillo to visit producer’s families and their Fincas.

Visiting Finca Villa Orfilia and Finca San Jose guided by FNC’s Café de Colombia Agronomist local team, was the confirmation of a work excellently done between FNC, the Local Comite Departamental and producers.

At Finca Villa Orfilia, the younger Acosta Family generation was engaged in producing the best coffee and supporting the local community by adding jobs year-round.

At Orfilia, the water resources and all environmental issues were being dully monitored and improved and the farm was undergoing the 4 C’s Certification process.

At Finca San Jose, Sr.Uriel was undergoing the RFA certification, had the 4 C’s and managed his property with maximum sustainability through diverse agriculture and livestock alternatives.

Coffee was certainly the main crop but farmed fish, pork, poultry, bananas, other tropical fruits and vegetables completed the basic family needs and provided year-round income.

Closing my 3 day stay at the Valle del Cauca, I had the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. & Mrs. Hector Fabio Cuellar Lopez, and my good friend and host, Hector Jairo Posada Suarez, Valle del Cauca Department “Specialty Coffee “Coordinator.

Visiting and learning what the Comite Departamental has done in the Cauca Valley regarding mapping and sustaining local Specialty Coffee production was very impressive to me.

I can declare with no reservation that the Local Department of Valle del Cauca has improved substantially what already was excellent. Now it’s about getting these coffees and their signatures to market!

Wolthers Douqué will return regarding these “Valle del Cauca Micro Lots”

Christian B. Wolthers

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