Don Jose has been working with coffee for over 25 years. His passion for coffee was born already in his childhood when he worked together with his family and learned about coffee cultivation. He and his wife Doña Selina saved for many years until they were able to buy their farm El Mirador over 10 years ago. The farm that they always dreamed of. Now with 9000 coffee trees planted in their 3 hectares farm, coffee has become the main income for their family.
Don Jose is part of the cooperative of coffee growers in the region, Caficosta and he sells to them every year the vast majority of the coffee he produces, all in parchment. With Delagua he has now been working for 2 years and the experience, as well as the benefits, has been great.
Traditionally in Colombia, coffees are processed at the farm level, using their own micro wet-mills. Producers then sell their coffee in parchment to local cooperatives and exporters who grade, dry mill, and sell the beans as green coffee nationally and abroad. This model promotes a process where most coffees are blended and sold without differentiation, with a lack of incentives for producers, who are rarely rewarded for practices that result in higher quality coffees. That is why Delagua has a different approach.
Delagua works collaboratively with small producers to achieve coffee with high-quality standards and full traceability while identifying and alleviating their risks - both monetary and otherwise. The supply chain starts when their purchase coffee cherry from collaborative neighboring smallholder farmers and transport it to their wet-mills to be processed and dry milled. In doing so, the producers see benefits in many ways but particularly in the following:
-Time-Management: processing coffee is a painstaking effort that requires constant attention and care, often lasting months. Producers completely avoid this commitment when the cherry leaves their farm.
-Water Usage: Producers save a substantial amount of water, while contamination from runoff water produced in washed-process coffees is minimized by advanced water filtration and recycling systems
-Cash Flow: When the cherry is purchased, the producer receives payment immediately, relieving any risk in payment delays and the associated stresses involved.
-Monetary Premiums: These are paid to producers both for exceptional quality, years spent with the program and for taking steps toward greener farming practices.
-Risk: Purchasing the coffee in cherry without knowing its flavor profile, cup score, or yield factor is a risk should the coffee not perform well. In a traditional parchment trading model, this risk and potential loss of income are born by the producer.
-Additional Assistance: Teams of agronomist and coffee specialists visit producers regularly, and are made available for direct assistance in cases of emergency.