Guatemala, La Soledad
Varietal: 70% Caturra, 30% Bourbon
Tasting notes: Chocolate, Nutty, Floral, Caramel Sweetness
Elevation: 1,600 - 1,800 masl
Lucía Zelaya comes from both a well-established and long-standing coffee producing family. She is a 4th generation producer. Her husband, Ronny, also comes from coffee producing heritage and owns another separate coffee farm, manages yet another, on top of overseeing the management of La Soledad. It is in part due to Ronny’s farming principles that La Soledad maintains a strict and aggressive pruning regimen of removing 20-30% of the farm’s branches at the end of each year, to combat disease, make coffee picking easier for the women and ensure efficient production year after year. The pruning program is part of a broader integrated farm management program that has seen a dramatic decrease of reliance on chemical inputs on the farm. The goal is to decrease chemical inputs by 80% in the longer-term through the implementation of this program. It was introduced to Ronny by a sweet pepper producer who has successfully decreased his chemical inputs to 10% and is one of the best sweet pepper producers in Latin America (based on a balance of quality & volume measures). There are 5 permanent workers on La Soledad, and 15-20 pickers. A law was recently passed in Guatemala that requires employers to register workers as employees and this provides them with government social and healthcare benefits that they didn’t previously have access to.