Region: Cauca, El Tambo Farm: Various Smallholder Varietal: Castillo + Colombia Altitude: 1715 -1750 m.a.s.l Processing: Washed
AMACA (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca) is a group of women producers located in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia that was formed in 1999 by 80 women from El Tambo, in Colombia’s Cauca department. Now AMACA is 140 smallholder members strong, all women farm owners and heads of household—and their coffees are fantastic. All of the members derive their livelihood and the livelihoods of their families from the cultivation and production of coffee. In 2008, AMACA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor of Cauca, and the municipality of El Tambo to increase the production and quality of coffee on 80 members’ farms. In 2010, the organization “Social Action” supplied 22 farms with new wet mills and processing tanks. Today, 140 active members from three different villages across the El Tambo municipality make up AMACA. The average farm size is 1 hectare (5,000 trees) per member, some members have 3+ hectares and many members have less than one.
In terms of harvesting and process, most all members harvest only fully ripe cherries, depulping on the same day as harvest, processing on their own farms, and drying on raised beds inside parabolic dryers.
A premium is paid to AMACA above the value of the coffee itself to support their goals and aspirations as a group. Their mantra is simple: to improve the quality of life for their members and their members’ families. Currently, one of their most pressing needs is a warehouse space to properly receive, cup, manage, and store their coffees. We believe these premiums can help them to accomplish these goals and in turn, support this passionate and strong-willed group of women in their love for and livelihood of quality coffee.
ABOUT COLOMBIAN COFFEE
Everyone knows Colombian coffee or thinks they do. To simply say Colombian coffee is like recommending a book by saying the name of the publisher. To really get to know Colombian coffee is to travel thousands of miles to see the country. Then, taste hundreds of cups, and wear out dozens of pairs of hiking boots touring coffee farms as our importer does.
Coffee came to Colombia in the late 1700s. The first plantings were in the north of the country. Coffee plants spread throughout the 19th century, with a smaller than average farm size more commonly found in other Latin American countries. Colombia still produces Arabica coffee exclusively. Our offerings come from the southwestern departments of Cauca and Huila, which have higher altitude farms. This shines through in the more complex flavour and heightened chocolatey profiles.
Commercial production and export of coffee started in the first decade of the 1800s but remained somewhat limited until the 20th century. The establishment of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia was a tremendous boost to the national coffee industry. Colombia quickly established itself as a significant coffee-growing region, vying with Brazil for the top global producer. The Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia is a prominent NGO that provides various services and support to the country's coffee producers. Regardless of the size of their landholdings or the volume of their production, the FNC helps out.
The FNC also guarantees a purchase price for any coffee grown within Colombia, providing financial security to farmers. This is designed to eliminate some of the market pressures and provide reliable income to the coffee sector. The scientific arm of the organization, Cenicafé, is devoted to research, development, dissemination, and support throughout the country. They provide A wide-ranging extension service employing more than 1,500 field workers. They are deployed to consult farmers on soil management, processing techniques, variety selection, disease prevention and treatment, and other agricultural aspects of coffee farming. A tax is imposed on all coffee exports to fund this work and the other provisions and protections that the FNC offers.
Since our earliest days, our importer has had boots on the ground and spoons in the cup there. We fall in love repeatedly with the regional variations, the varieties, the landscape, and the producers themselves. Our work sourcing strong, versatile workhorse coffees will keep you coming back for more.