Miriam Elizabeth Perez, her farm in Honduras is called 'Clave del Sol' she is also a member of COMSA (Café Organico Marcala, S.A.).
Miriam likes to say that as a kid, her grandfather only took her brothers to the farm telling her a farm is not a girls place. Today she smiles, as her brothers didn't take the farm over: she did! She is the third generation of producers in her family and she has been producing coffee herself for over 20 years with the help of her husband and children. Her farm, located in El Rincon village in Marcala, represents 3,5 hectares of coffee.
The farm has several shading trees making the coffee ripen slowly for a better cup quality. It also helps preserve the soil from erosion and fixing minerals. Miriam also practises Pranic Agriculture, where the farming is in touch with life, music, the cosmos and human culture as a whole. Whatever she does, has certainly paid off! After the harvest, the cherries are processed at COMSA's mill. There, she is able to process Fully Washed, Honey and Natural coffees. This Fully Washed lot dries in parchment in raising beds after a fermentation phase in water tanks to take off the mucilage.
COMSA fights for gender equality and works hard to gather a great number of producers that are women. Several years ago, Marcala had a big cooperative buying and processing coffee from many small producers. When the cooperative went broke, many producers were left without a structure to process their coffee. This was when sixty producers decided to gather around a project to be able to continue to sell their coffees and therefore created a private company called COMSA. They went from 60 to more than 700 producers. The organisation highlights the organic agriculture as a whole model and champions the consumption of organic food. In addition, they have their own research laboratory for organic practices and they train every member of the organization. They receive training about cupping, sensory skills and organic agriculture classes.
Miriam exports her coffee within the COMSA Structure as a microlot as it receives a score above 86 points.
Our Supplier Belco interviewed Miriam and produced the below video, check it out!
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We've worked with Marta Dalton and her family over the last few years through her company Coffee Bird, in fact most of our Guatemalan coffees have come through her! The Dalton family honours it's coffee growing heritage and is currently being operated by the 5th and 6th generation. Coffee represents 214.64 hectares of the entire farm. Like most farms in Guatemala, Finca Filadelfia (of which Bosques de San Francisco is 1/4) originally harvested cochinille.
In 1864 it transitioned to coffee amidst a country wide recession. Cochinille was used to produce a natural fabric dye colour “Carmine.” As the industrial revolution evolved, Germany developed synthetic dyes removing the need for the natural carmine colour. Farms across Guatemala faced a devastating recession.
Manuel Matheu (Marta’s great great great grandfather) borrowed the land at Filadelfia initially where he planted some coffee in 1864. In his first harvest he went to London to sell his first crop. After returning from London, he was commissioned by the President of Guatemala to show small farmers how to grow coffee. Thus was born the Antigua coffee growing region.
Eventually Manuel’s son purchased what is now Finca Filadelfia. The passion for coffee has been passed down 6 generations. Marta’s great grandmother Elisa ran the farm until she was 95 years old and won the first two 'Cup of Excellence' in 2001 and 2002.
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