We sat down with Karla Calidonio, Head of Marketing for IHCAFÉ, PRF 2021 Host Sponsor.
The Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFÉ) is a nonprofit association that regulates Honduran coffee production. Their goal is to promote social and economic sustainability through innovation, training, and quality control.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EXPORTING COFFEES FROM HONDURAS?
Honduras has the following competitive advantages:
- Interconnected ports in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, with low-cost transport that is easy to access.
- Easy access to export licenses.
- Exporters that have appropriate technology to prepare coffee for shipping.
- A range of green coffee suppliers who drive market access for Honduran coffee on both a national and international stage.
- Many producer associations are transforming their operations from “producer” to “producer/exporter” under regulatory reform. This has resulted in better communication and direct contact between buyers and producers.
In addition to this, a significant effort has been made in education for producers on topics such as quality control. In each coffee producing region, specialized staff members work together with producers to find out how best to grow coffee in that area.
WHAT MAKES HONDURAS STAND OUT FROM OTHER COFFEE ORIGINS?
In general, we note that sweet, chocolatey profiles stand out in Honduran coffee, with fine acidity, resulting in a balanced cup. The country has a broad variety of microclimates in coffee-producing regions, as well as different cultural growing traditions. As a result, there are distinct characteristics for each region and Honduran cup profiles are almost endlessly diverse.
It’s important to mention the versatility of Honduran coffees (which are mainly grown in shade in wider agroforestry settings) mean they work well in both espresso and filter coffee. This gives us a cost/benefit advantage when compared to other origins, as this versatility often directly translates to increased profitability.
Additionally, coffee farming in Honduras is part of our national identity. It provides a source of livelihood for 150,000 producers, 92% of which work on a “small or medium” sized farm. In financial terms, Honduran coffee production makes up 5% of the country’s GDP, and 35% of all agricultural GDP. Our coffee is produced with a specific focus on environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural responsibility.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE A COFFEE’S VALUE?
Coffees are generally valued on the basis of their organoleptic (sensory) qualities. Coffee producers strive to improve quality through desirable flavour notes and characteristics. After a sensory analysis is carried out and the coffee is cupped, it will then be appropriately priced.
It’s worth noting that coffees with environmental certifications such as Rainforest Alliance/UTZ and Fairtrade and organic labelling tend to be more valuable.
WHAT COFFEES ARE YOU EXCITED TO CUP/OFFER IN 2021?
The coffees of the 2020-21 harvest year, and specifically famous Honduran varieties like Parainema. Traditionally, these coffees have creamy and complex flavours in the cup. They are processed in a number of different ways, including natural, honey, washed, and some with anaerobic fermentation. These coffees are available in commercial, micro, and nanolots, all of which are appropriately certified.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN OBJECTIVES FOR PRF 2021?
Our goal as Producer & Roaster Forum Host Sponsors is to empower buyers to rediscover Honduran coffee. We want to provide a space and opportunity for them to establish long-term business relationships with our producers.
It is worth mentioning that great efforts have been made to adopt health and safety measures throughout the coffee supply chain, with the aim of preserving the health, safety, and wellbeing of coffee-producing families and visitors.
We also want to share information about new projects we are working on, specifically those focused on improving the quality of our coffees through improved traceability, transparency, and responsible crop management.
Photo credits: IHCAFÉ