We spoke to Cooperativa Agraria Frontera San Ignacio about developing a higher scoring microlot that would have a fruit forward, elegant cup profile that we could source year on year. The traceability of the microlot will depend on which farmers are producing the desired cup profile each year. Sourcing coffee this way means each member of the cooperative has the chance to be part of the programme and therefore get a higher premium for their coffee. It means that the coffee is produced and sourced in a way that does not conflict with the values of a cooperative, but also rewards small producers for quality coffee and provides incentives to carry on doing so.
El Gallito de las Rocas, also known as cock-of-the-rock, is a bird found across many of the higher altitude coffee producing areas, and is widely regarded as the national bird of Peru, so we thought it was a fitting image to represent them.
The Cooperativa Agraria Frontera San Ignacio was founded in 1969 and has 330 small-growers in 14 communities. They are located in the Cajamarca Region in Northern Peru where the Rio Canchis splits the country from Ecuador. The farms are located in the buffer zones of a protected natural area, and have many diverse species of animals within their borders. This means working with an organic methodology and certification is a strategic point because through these standards, a culture of protection of wildlife and species in danger of extension is encouraged and created.
Coffee here is commonly fermented in wooden tanks built from fallen Romerillo trees (regulations prohibit the chopping down of them.) This is because when coffee ferments it generates heat, and the wood is better at dispersing the heat and therefore ensuring an even temperature throughout the fermentation tank, whereas with concrete, heat would be absorbed and stored more easily in the sides, creating differences throughout the batch and inconsistencies in the final cup.
Coffee is processed fully washed, and the parchment delivered into the warehouses of the cooperative in San Ignacio town. Each batch is evaluated for physical appearance, tasted at the quality laboratory and separated according to quality and certification. It is then transported to the dry mill in nearby Chiclayo city. The export department is based there as well as another quality control laboratory with well-trained staff each under the control of certified Q grader.