Peru: Using teamwork to build a better future for coffee producers.
By Kevin Wilsea
Here at Gimme! Coffee, we have a few relationship coffees that hold a special place in our hearts, and what better time for the return of one of our favorites, Peru Chirinos, than February, the month of love!
In the photo above, you can see Liz Clark, Gimme’s Director of Coffee, cupping with members of the Chirinos Cooperative, Sustainable Harvest and Colectivo Coffee (Milwaukee, WI). Cuppings such as this are crucial, as they help create a common language between roasters and members of the Chirinos Cooperative. This year’s lot was hand-picked by Liz, and we’re incredibly excited to finally have it arrive! (Photo credit: Bryan Clifton/bcliftonphoto.com)
When people think of South American coffee, they often think of Brazil and Colombia, two of the world’s largest coffee exporters, but right in between the two is the country of Peru, the world’s largest exporter of Fair Trade Certified coffees.
Although it lacks the government support of its neighbors Brazil and Colombia, Peru’s coffee industry has seen a lot of growth in recent years, and a lot of that growth can be traced back to the teamwork of cooperatives such as the Chirinos Cooperative, who we’ve been working with for 4 years now.
Cooperatives play an integral role in the supply chain throughout the world, drying and exporting coffees from small farm holders to the rest of the world. Located in northern Peru, the Chirinos Cooperative unites 450 producers, and helps introduce these producers to the specialty coffee community. Along with processing, drying and exporting coffee, the Cooperative also provides agricultural tools for farmers designed to help producers grow better coffee year after year - the most innovative of these tools is their Gaicashi Fertilization Method. Gaicashi involves the drying and mixing of organic material to create a powerful, natural compost that naturally controls disease and pests without the use of pesticides and herbicides. But the true teamwork is just beginning, as the Cooperative uses this fertilizer with a focus on lower-scoring coffees on a yearly basis. By focusing on these lower-scoring coffees, the Cooperative is able to improve the health and quality of these plants, and raise the overall quality of the Cooperative’s coffee on a yearly basis. This culture of teamwork has proven to improve the coffee coming from the Chirinos Cooperative on a yearly basis, and is one of the many reasons we look forward to continuing our relationship into the future! Buy Peru Chirinos online or in stores now.