Despite a very challenging year due to the global pandemic, Peru was a great origin for our clients in 2020.The coffee quality and flavour speak for themselves, and as an added bonus they are also all organic, and we see an increased demand for that. Additionally, many producers we buy from are part of a large agroforestry project, and of course all producers have a guaranteed premium price if their coffee meets our quality criteria. The coffees performed very well last year and we know that this year should be better.
Our producers will start harvesting in June, and we expect to go through the first samples and selections from late July onwards. We aim to get the first shipments out in August or September.
The crop looks good, even better than last year, both in terms of quality and quantity. Peru is still heavily affected by the pandemic at the moment, but our partners are not expecting it to have as much impact on quality as last year. However, they have had heavy rains lately that will create some issues for farmers already in harvest in the low to medium altitudes. Fortunately, as we mainly work in altitudes from 1600 – 2000+ masl, we are not expecting the producers we buy from to start picking and processing coffee before June. The majority of the coffees will be harvested between July and September, and they expect harvest to go on until November in some areas.
Our current activities
We have had meetings the past weeks with suppliers to make sure we are aligned on quality, quantities and pricing. We are planning out as much as we can with the cooperatives, producers and exporters and we have started to pre-book and pre-contract coffees for this year. This helps us to structure our buying, and many of the producers can target the higher qualities knowing we are committed to buy coffees at good premiums.
The benefits of pre-contracting
For part of our Peru buying we work with an organisation called Eleva Finca which supports eight cooperatives with pre-financing, quality development, and agroforestry programs. We pre-contract coffees from the Cedros and Selva Andina cooperatives through this organisation. According to Eleva Finca, the benefits for cooperatives of pre-contracting are many:
“When cooperatives are able to secure contracts prior to the beginning of the harvest season:
- They are better positioned to purchase their members’ harvests at stable and competitive prices.
- Cooperatives are able to use signed contracts as collateral to help finance payments to producers, along with important services to their members, such as technical assistance in the field, infrastructure projects, and other investments to help improve the quality and timely delivery of coffee.
- Resting assured that most of their harvest is already sold can help growers focus more on quality, health, and their communities as a whole. The sustainability and business impact of early engagement should not be overlooked.
Enriching farming cooperatives and the communities that they serve through drafting contracts as early as possible in the season could be one of the most sustainable acts a buyer can make for producers.”
Cafe Selva Norte coffee mill
Eleva Finca is funding a new dry mill that will be co-owned by eight cooperatives, and providing milling services to other entities, cooperatives, exporters etc. The Cajamarca and Amazonas regions are producing a great amount of quality coffee, and the main hub for the trade in the area is the city of Jaen. From our experience, and also from what all our partners are stating, there is really no good milling services for specialty in this area yet. The Cafe Selva Norte (CSN) mill will offer state of the art service and production using Cimbria equipment, with two lines of production, one dedicated to specialty and micro-lots. They aim to have the mill up and running before the export season starts, and we are really looking forward to using it for our coffees this year.