Voted the “Best Coffee Company in El Salvador” in 2007 the CuzcaCoffee Co-op (also known as the Cuzcachapa Co-operative) has been producing and exporting some of the best coffee beans in the world.
The co-op processes over 15 million pounds of 100% Arabica coffee beans each year and about 15,000 bags of specialty coffee.
The Cooperative Cuzcachapa
The co-op is made up of over 1,300 members and has built a reputation for producing high quality coffee beans. They take specific action to promote economic and social empowerment of all its members.
The Mission statement of CuzcaCoffee is:
To promote the social and economic betterment of coffee producers through joint action and offering assistance in earning the highest return on their crop and the work done to produce the crop. By jointly pursuing direct marketing in international coffee markets the Co-Op aims to maximize their market advantage.
With this mission at hand, the overall vision of the Co-Op is to be the leading coffee processor in El Salvador while protecting the ecological legacy of the country’s coffee-producing forests.
Cuzcachapa Certification and Awards
With such high aspirations and goals the Cuzcachapa Cooperative has achieved several awards and certifications such as the already mentioned “Best Coffee Company in El Salvador” in 2007. Additionally, CuzcaCoffee:
- Hosts the Cup of Excellence annual competition each year
- Offers several certified varieties of coffee beans such as Kosher, Rain Forest, JAS Organic, USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and (coming soon) Bird Friendly
El Salvador Environmental Sustainability
Amongst its environmental initiatives, CuzcaCoffee has:
- On-site organic composts where worms transform waste from coffee plants into high-quality organic fertilizers (100% natural!)
- Portable mills that can be transported to small coffee plantations in El Salvador. By bringing the mill to the farm during harvest season the fuel consumption of trucks is significantly reduced. The berries are stripped of pulp on the spot and only the remaining bean is transported to the processing plant. Furthermore, the stripped pulp is left at the coffee plantation and composted and used as fertilizer by the farmer.
- A strong preference for shade grown coffee beans. Even though it takes four to five years for coffee plants to mature in shade grown areas, shade grown canopies are better for the environment – preventing soil erosion and protecting the habitats of birds and wildlife.
- Reforestation initiatives on both their co-op site and at other coffee plantations. Recently they replanted 1,500 new coffee trees.
Amongst its economic initiatives, CuzcaCoffee:
- Provides free advice to local coffee farmers in order to help achieve long-term economic sustainability.
- Offers short-term loans for qualifying coffee farmers to help cover annual farming expenses such as fertilizing and harvesting.
- Offers long term loans to help sustain coffee farms for years to come. The Cooperative works on behalf of all its members to help negotiate credit with local bank in order to get affordable loans.
- Provides low cost fuel and production parts to sustain the agricultural processes
- Helps advertise, brand and market as well as export all of its members’ coffee in the world marketplace.
Socially Responsible Cuzcachapa
Not only does the Cuzcachapa Co-Op look after its farming members but it also works on behalf of its communities to improve the well-being of society. Some of these assistance programs include:
- Creating employment opportunities and chances to earn a living
- Offering medical care to its farm employees which includes access to licensed doctors and nurses and low cost medicine
- Makes donations to elder care homes
- Provides breakfast plans for low income students
Try El Salvador Cuzcachapa Coffee Today
You may be interested in tasting Cuzcachapa coffee – several of its characteristics make it one of the best cups of coffee:
- Strictly Hard Bean (grown at altitudes of 3600 ft)
- Bourbon variety
- Wet-milled, sun processed
- Arabica coffee bean variety
- Harvested from December to March
- Soft cup that is sweet, mild and soft acidity
- Light to medium roast
Visit the CuzcaCoffee Coop Site to learn more about their coffee and certifications.
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