Thanks to rapid changes in buyer demands, production methods, and certification programs in recent years, it can be difficult for producers to keep up with an ever-evolving market. However, by gaining access to modern technologies and structured certification programs, coffee growers can become more competitive and produce higher quality coffee.
To learn more, we spoke to several members of the team at CAFICO, a supplier and producing partner which works in the Honduran coffee sector. They told us more about these recent developments and some of the programs designed to help coffee growers, in the interest of elevating Honduran coffee and promoting sustainable coffee production.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT HONDURAN COFFEE? AND SPECIFICALLY THE REGIONS WHERE COFFEE IS GROWN?
Adelmo Paz, Farm Certification Technician:
“One of the things that makes Honduran coffee so special is that it is part of the heritage of generations; it is a livelihood for many coffee producing regions.
“After that, you have the unique weather conditions. In the area of Corquín, Copán, the climate creates the special attributes that our coffees have, which are evident when we cup and taste them.”
WHAT ARE CAFICO’S MAIN OBJECTIVES FOR 2021?
Samira Romero, Administrative Manager:
“One of our main objectives is to maintain our standard certification program, both at farm and plant level.
“We use this program to evaluate market opportunities that may arise, in case there is a need to incorporate new certifications or processes that importers or consumers demand. This helps us expand our offerings for the international market.
“Above all, our main objective is to maintain the sustainability of the coffee value chain through good agricultural practices and positive commercial relationships.”
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM THE 2021 HARVEST IN HONDURAS?
Isis Fiallos, Administrative Assistant:
“We expect that the 2021 harvest and subsequent harvests will be of excellent quality and continue to meet quality standards. In particular, we expect high quality from the southern region of Copán, which is CAFICO’s main zone of influence for international markets.
“As we continue to support our partners by covering production costs and investing in their production units, we also hope that our collaborators will follow up to continually monitor biosecurity protocols.
“This is important at both plant and farm level, as it allows us to guarantee the health of all who work in the coffee value chain.”
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED A CHANGE IN THE DEMANDS OF BUYERS IN RECENT YEARS?
Marco Antonio Romero, Process Manager:
“It is true that during the pandemic there has been a slight reduction in the demand for coffee at an international level. However, at CAFICO, we have been fortunate to increase the number of partners we work with.
“This is thanks to great references, excellent work, and above all, consistently high-quality products. In turn, this has led to strong commercial relationships underpinned by honesty and transparency.
“We have adapted to the changing demands of the international market by encouraging a new attitude for both producers and our personnel.
“For producers, we have established training programs that cover a range of social and environmental topics, to help make our coffee farms sustainable.
“At the administrative level, we are aware that our human capital is what guarantees that the right processes are carried out, and that we are able to comply with the requirements to maintain the high quality of our product.
“We’ve also incorporated new technologies in our processing plant which allow us to monitor and maintain quality levels at each stage.”
HOW DOES CAFICO SUPPORT ITS GROWER MEMBERS?
Tulio Aguilar, Certification Manager:
“One of the main ways we support producer members is through a multidisciplinary technical assistance team.
“This team supports good agricultural practices and implements certification programs, as well as providing commercial support to manage programs and projects focused on improving coffee quality and quality of life for farming communities.
“We have also developed and implemented a training plan with the aim of changing the traditional mentality and encouraging producers to be more entrepreneurial. This leads to greater sustainability across the supply chain, in the end driving a product that complies with all the quality standards the international market requires.
“Another important aspect of our work is supporting producers to guarantee coffee traceability. On-farm, we have a unique system of farming which is also adopted at the central processing plant. This guarantees better traceability and higher standardization for each lot that will then be exported to the international market.”