This coffee is grown in and around the fertile area of La Coipa, Cajamarca, near the town of San Ignacio in the southern highlands.
The aim was to find a market for their coffees, with a focus on both quality and sustainable relationships with partners. They constructed a mill and a cupping lab in the town of San Ignacio at 1300 masl, where the climate is cool and less humid, making it ideal for storing coffee and preserving quality.
Lorenzo Cruz, the co-op manager, has been working to improve coffee quality through cupping every producer’s lots separately and mapping the areas which produce the highest scores. Through this mapping, they are able to help pinpoint areas with ideal growing conditions, and producers that are processing and drying their coffee well.
There are now 250 farmer members, who are divided into three areas, in three different valleys. Farms sit between 1500 masl and 2000 masl and each is between 1 and 5 hectare. Many of the producers have numerous parcels of land separated by protected forest.
Much of the coffee grown is still old Typica, but more producers are starting to plant rust resistant varietals like Catimor and Castillo. UNAFECOOP is organic certified and is committed to making a sustainable future for organic farming in the region, after crops were decimated in previous years by leaf rust. They have responded by providing seeds of resistant, high yielding varietals and training farmers in good agricultural practices.