In May 2017, Raw Material met with Invercafe and two new coffee producer groups in Pitalito, Huila, to understand what is preventing farmers from accessing the specialty market. During these discussions farmers described their core challenges: a lack of key infrastructure; and lack of stable prices to provide certainty for investment in improved quality.
To address these challenges, Red Association was launched. With new infrastructure put in place, individual farmers are paid a minimum price of 1M COP/ carga of dry parchment coffee they produce through a community lot. This price results in over double the household income of a typical coffee producing family, compared with the average income in the regular market over the past 5 years. Once the new infrastructure is built, payments are received directly by producers. The goal is to achieve stable and sustainable prices for community coffee lots through improved quality control, shared knowledge, and a connection to the specialty coffee market.
Despite good production levels, income from coffee for these families has dropped to unsustainable levels in the past few years. Producers faced a crossroad; either find alternative means of income, or find a more sustainable market. Two core constraints faced those that choose option two: a lack of key infrastructure to produce quality coffee, and access to stable prices in return.
Grapefruit, Orange Bitters, Black Cherry
1,400 - 2,100 masl