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Bolivia Cafe Yungas


In the west of Bolivia, a landlocked country of just 11 million people, lies the Department of La Paz, bordering Peru and the shores of Lake Titicaca. Here the Andean mountains make the transition to the Amazon river basin across a narrow band of forest called the Yungas. As a transition area, the biodiversity here is high, with lowland forest and valleys as well as cloud forests at high elevations. The Inambari river demarcates the Bolivian Yungas from Peruvian, with north and south divide being apparent in ecology as well as geography.

A cooperative of 33 producing partners across 40 families, Cooperativa Agropecuaria “Bio Arabica” has a young average age, often in contrast to farmers in the coffeelands. They grew out of an older cooperative, Union Pro-Agro, and still use their dry mill; the younger members from 18 families formed their own cooperative in 2013 specifically dedicated to the production of Fairtrade and organic coffee, with a focus on environmental concerns. With 85% of the inhabitants of Calama and Nogalani producing coffee (the communities where the cooperative is), it’s easy to see the impact improving their coffee offering and value can have. In 2014, the first phase of renovation was carried out, selecting plants that were exhibiting greater resistance to disease and preserving the original varietals present. This comprised of 12 hectares and 48,000 seedlings. Phase two produced 64,000 seedlings and covered 16 hectares, with further renovation happening in 2016 and 2017 bringing the total to 48 hectares renovated.

This forward-thinking mentality has extended to gender too, with women producers having the same rights and obligations as the partners, and the group having equity within the councils of Administration and Surveillance governing the needs of the cooperative. They view the participation of women in the work place as important as their role as a fundamental pillar of the family home.

Growing mostly Typica and Caturra, this lot is a refinement, consisting of 60% Red Catuai. The coffee is hand-picked when ripe, washed and fermented to remove the flesh before being dried on raised beds at the mill under the sun.

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1100-1700 m
May - September
SCA score
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