Region: San Miguel, La Paz, Marcala
Variety: Catuai, Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, Pacas, IHCAFE 90
Farm: 77 smallholder women members of Cooperativa RAOS
Tasting Notes: Toffee, cocoa, hints of lemon
These beans are sourced from a Women Coffee Producer lot from Cooperativa RAOS (Regional de Agricultores Orgánicos de la Sierra). Cooperative RAOS has a 270-farmer membership, which includes 77 women. We are able to buy several containers from the women.
One of the reasons the cooperative is determined to market its women members' coffee is that 60 percent of the women face gender-based legal issues with regards to the ownership of their land, as well as limitations to the credit they can receive to finance the harvest every year. In addition to the program premiums these women receive for this lot, Cooperativa RAOS has many very active educational support programs open to all members. Gender assemblies are held by female members in order to discuss the women's needs, as well as ways of increasing equity within the group and community.
"Gender equity means that women and men have the right to equal and fair access to the use, control, and benefits from the same goods and services of society, as well as to decision-making in the areas of social, economic, and social life, as well as politics." This is Cooperativa RAOS's mission statement with regards to gender, a philosophy that the organization supports through the development of training farms, as well as integrated farm-management programs, and in increasing access to these programs as well as organic farming support to all members, including the female growers.
The farms grow primarily Catuai, Caturra, Typica, Bourbon, and Pacas, as well as IHCAFE 90. This lot selects from a majority of the heirloom varieties: Catuai, Caturra, Typica, and Bourbon.
While coffees from Honduras have tended to be a little unstable—especially for organic coffee—these growers have had good results. Climate, altitude, and the varieties being grown are all in everyone's favor, but ROAS stands apart through its attention to detail in processing: RAOS has a central processing station for wet- and dry-milling, which helps improve the consistency and the quality in the cup.
—From our sourcer, La Bodega