Honduras l Beneficio Los Andes l Smallholders l Washed
Farm: Various smallholder farmers
Varietal: Primarily Red Catuaí; also Lempira, Ecafe 90, Bourbon, Pacas, Pache & Typica
Processing: Fully washed & dried on covered patios or small African beds
Altitude: 1,500 to 1,600 metres above sea level
Owner: 37 smallholder farmers from Marcala
Town / City: Various
Overall: Halzenut, Apple Juice, Cocoa Powder
Honduras is on the verge of becoming a major coffee powerhouse – some might argue that the country is already there! Over the last 25 years the country has risen (as of 2016) to being the 3rd largest producer in Latin America; and they are poised to accomplish even more, with coffee being hailed as a tool for economic development that ‘really works.’ The vast majority of the country’s producers are small holders (70% farm on fewer than 2 hectares) and, as such, the potential of coffee to transform lives in Honduras’s most rural and remote areas is certainly there and has been frequently touted. The one challenge, however, has been quality. Most of the coffee grown in the country fails to command prices significantly over the ‘C’-price and small holders still struggle to meet their cost of production.
Until relatively recently almost of all of Honduras’ production was aimed at the commercial market, and the country was seen primarily as a low-price commodity exporter. Throughout the 1990’s, while its Central American neighbours became known for producing high quality lots, Honduras was left behind when it came to specialty production. The country, without a doubt, has the growing conditions, with fertile soils, altitude and agreeable microclimates; however, lack of processing and quality control infrastructure has given the country a bad name with quality buyers.
This reputation is changing, in part due to quality driven projects such as this lot from Beneficio Los Andes Smallholders.