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A Note From Jeff In Guatemala

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Here I am standing at 8,000 feet above sea level. I’m struggling to catch my breathe after a long hike through this lush and green countryside.

We stumble upon this peak in the Ixil region of Guatemala — the region where our farmers live. The farmers you’ve had a hand in helping.

Here are just a few of the amazing outcomes and stories that have occurred since Agros entered the Ixil region:

• Maria, from Agros child to School Director at just 24 years old

• A prospering Goat Initiative to provide additional income  for villagers

• Land ownership and sustainability now a reality for our farmers

Thanks to coffee lovers like you, generational change has occurred and sustainability is now alive in one of the most desolate regions in the world. To join the conversation on sustainability and see pictures from my inspiring trip, please visit the link below, or scan the QR code.

www.camanoislandcoffee.com/a-note-from-jeff-guatemala-trip

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3 Responses to A Note From Jeff In Guatemala

  1. Daniel Bolstad January 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    I would love to talk with you about your efforts in Guatemala and other coffee growing regions. I am interested in:
    1. Climate change and how that affects those that are growing crops that are sensitive to altitude and climate.
    2. Development projects, what ones are most effective in helping the farmers to rise out of poverty and all that goes with it.

    Thank you for all the good work that you are doing for the developing world. I love your business philosophy.

    Warm Regards,
    Dan Bolstad

    • TJ August 10, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      Dan,

      Those are some great questions.

      Thankfully our farmers have not been hit too hard by climate change. Some of our farmers have had parts of their crop destroyed by coffee roya, but overall we’ve been quite fortunate. Industry wide we have seen some challenges, however. Climate change is thought to be adding to not only the coffee rust issues but also complicating the harvesting of beans at origin. Wide changes in weather patterns have caused some crops to yield at inconsistent times. This proves problematic for the farmers as the cultivation and harvest periods overlap and cause additional work. If the cherries are not harvested at just the right time then quality will suffer. For years now coffee farmers in Ethiopia have seen their yields decrease 15% to 20%. Here’s an article that discusses this more specifically: https://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2017/06/world-leader-coffee-production-threatened-climate-change.

      One small step we have taken is by providing recyclable pods. These pods can be used in all K-Cup machines and every part of the pod is recyclable.

      Regarding developmental projects there are really two crucial steps. First, is land-ownership. Second is education and partnership. We partner with Agros to help provide land-ownership programs to farmers. When they own the land they become entrepreneurs. This change from a worker with no voice to a small-plot land-owner redefines their local communities. They truly have ownership in their work and also in negotiating power for the crops they cultivate.

      But, just leaving the farmers to fend for themselves is irresponsible as well. To ensure repayment of the loans Agros works hand in hand with the farmers providing education, mentorship, and a path to market. This crucial step helps farmers maximize yields and profit — paying off their loans, gaining independence, and providing for their families.

      Thank you, Dan, for some great questions.

      TJ Fittis
      General Manager

  2. Coffee Blog Kev January 9, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

    I could stare at that view for years!
    Sounds amazing, but one question, what on earth is a prospering goat?? 😉

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