Catching Up with our Seeds Program, Week 3
Seeds is an acronym that stands for Sustaining Environmental and Educational Development at Source. Our Seeds program was created to structure and define Counter Culture's monetary contributions to projects that are not coffee-quality-specific but still benefit our coffee-producing partners and their communities. To date, we have contributed a total of $24,963 to projects in 6 countries. We'd like to catch you up on the projects we have funded over the last couple of years through our Seeds program with an eye toward more regular updates of ongoing projects.
Our Third Project: Trainer for Sound Agricultural Practices
We are entering the second year of a three year cycle on this project. The funds are dedicated to an agricultural trainer. The CODECH cooperative – which produces our Concepción Huista coffee – chose to use the trainer this past year to focus on improving microlot coffee production. To do so, the trainer visited small producers and trained them in harvesting, recognizing plant maturity, and storing coffee in parchment. Approximately 1,500 members of the cooperative participated, including 350 women.
For the year ahead, the cooperative has set new goals for the trainer. They hope to have her focus more on cooperative organization, as well as workshops for women on reproductive health and gender empowerment. We look forward to continued follow up as this project enters its second and third years.
Here's what two cooperative members who worked with the trainer this year had to say about the support:
"Participating in the workshops helped me understand more about the coffee market. It also helped me better understand the wet milling of coffee. I can now count on my coffee export knowledge, and I know where my coffee is sold and what importers and coffee consumers expect." – Don Marcos de Marcos
"Participating in the workshops allowed me to know more about the management coffee farms need in order to produce more coffee. I also now know that the coffee harvest at this altitude should give a better coffee profile. Before, I did not know that coffee should be harvested at a certain point to maintain quality and that the pulpers needed to be cleaned every day so as not to continue cross-contamination." – Señora Ana Maria Cota
Within the coffee department, we continue to believe that the support of trainers, agronomists, and technicians on the ground is invaluable for cooperatives. Producers are able to get one-on-one attention from experts to learn more about best practices for their particular situation. They strengthen their own production, thus the whole cooperative benefits, and the buyer is even more interested in the cooperative. It's a win-win situation!
'Til next week,