19 February 2018 | pacts insight | Views:

Like Father, Like Son: how investing in speciality coffee is saving the industry

We’ve talked about the ‘generation gap’ crisis in coffee before - how the average age of farmers is creeping up, why kids are growing up to resent growing beans for a living (or lack thereof), and why it’s an issue.

The deal is this: we need people to keep farming coffee. Firstly, for obvious reasons - someone needs to do it - but also because it’s essential that people keep doing it properly. Best practice means better coffee, so quality is upheld and the downfalls of global warming and disease can be mitigated.

So that’s why we’re so happy when the work we do inspires people to stay in the coffee industry.

Introducing… Mauricio

Motorbike, fauxhawk and ripped jeans. Not necessarily what you expect when you imagine ‘coffee farmer’ (that’d make you conjure images of Mauricio’s father, Faibre).

Mauricio is the ultimate ‘next gen grower’. A rarity in a world where coffee kids are relocating to the city for air-conditioned 9 to 5s. After getting a hectare of land from his father, he’s produced his first ten sacks of speciality grade coffee and carried on the family tradition.

But it wasn’t always going to be that way…

The story of El Cairo

When we first met Mauricio, he was a small boy living in a shack - mud floors, no outside walls, and a holey roof made from old floorboards. To him, that was the life of a coffee farmer. Namely his dad Faibre Vega’s life.

We bought Faibre’s coffee that year, as it was already speciality grade quality, and helped him use some of the profits to make improvements to his family home. Walls, a proper floor and a roof that doubled as a drying bed meant his coffee kept getting better - and he started earning more and more.

Each year we returned, buying more coffee at higher prices and helping to improve farming practices (and therefore crop quality) even more. Which meant the family went from near poverty, to thriving and recognised for their excellent talent as farmers.

Next steps

Our work helping Faibre thrive in the industry, with a real focus on improving his family life, let Mauricio learn several things - that coffee farming doesn’t have to be a terrible way to live, that he can be truly appreciated and rewarded for his hard work, and that speciality coffee can change lives.

And from that he worked with that hectare of land to create ten bags of Micro-Lot-worthy coffee. It was only right that we bought it, and carried on encouraging him to stay in the industry. Making the most of your Pact Coffee for home discount? Then look out for La Pedregosa towards the end of February on our coffee menu!


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