Project 121 Partner: Sol y Café
In 2016 we have partnered with Sol y Café Cooperative in Peru to bring in a selection of Project 121 microlots for the second consecutive season.
Sol y Café is a first-tier cooperative in Peru with more than 900 producers from 56 communities in the Jaén and San Ignacio provinces of Cajamarca.
The Sol y Café producers were first organised in 2003 by international aid and development agency Caritas. They decided to commercialize their coffee operation in 2004 and formed an association to do so. During this year more than 1600 quintales were sold to the local market. In 2008 the Sol y Café Cooperative was formerly established and by 2010 they had over 1000 member producers. They have since consolidated to approximately 960 producers and in 2014 they received 58,000 quintales.
The Sol y Café delivery centre is based in Jaen. When a coffee lot is delivered it is weighed, tagged and sampled for physical and sensory analysis. The producer is given a receipt with a number corresponding to the bag tag on the coffee lot to ensure traceability. The producer is paid in full at time of delivery and payment is based on physical attributes as opposed to cup score. Discounts and premiums are applied based on moisture, defects, density and milling yield, and extra charges are applied if the coffee requires further drying. Over time, the Cooperative has established longstanding relationships with their producers and as such are happy to make payment in full at time of delivery. These relationships form the basis of Sol y Café’s continued growth and success.
The Cooperative have four field agronomists and 12 assistant technicians on staff and place significant value on education and training. Member producers are encouraged to act as entrepreneurs. The current president of the coop started with half-a-hectare of land and now has four hectares. They have recently implemented a policy whereby producers must learn to cup and evaluate their coffee. The Cooperative are committed to continuous improvement and work with their producer members to ensure this attitude is accepted across the board.
We are very grateful to work with such a progressive organisation and look forward to furthering our relationship with Sol y Café Cooperative for many years to come
Image: Drying area at Project 121 producer Rocel Romero Rafael's plantation in Santa Rosa.