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Origin Field Lab – Honduras

 
Origin Field Lab
Origin Field Lab: Honduras
March 13–19, 2016

On this weeklong trip, students participate in each step of the coffee production process at origin—from harvest to export—and learn about the benefits and challenges of building long-term coffee relationships.

The 2016 Origin Field lab will cover the complexities of contemporary coffee farming in general, and in Honduras in particular, and with on-site experiences which will illuminate the intricacies of coffee cultivation and processing for farms of varying sizes.

Lab topics will include coffee botany, organic agriculture, coffee processing, contemporary challenges and opportunities for farmers, the structure of coffee cooperatives, milling and exporting, and Honduras’ sociopolitical history as it relates to the coffee industry.

After touring the dry mill facilities of exporter Boncafe, the group will travel south from San Pedro Sula to Marcala to visit Counter Culture producer partners, starting with Finca El Puente, a larger-scale family-run farm with which Counter Culture has partnered since 2006. Many savvy coffee lovers are already familiar (in name, if not in person) with farmers Moisés Herrera and his wife Marysabel Caballero. Field Lab participants will spend time with this charming coffee family, tour the farm and processing facilities, participate in the coffee harvest, and explore the farm’s extensive coffee varieties nursery.

The group will also spend time with the dynamic COMSA coffee cooperative, which represents more than 2000 smallholder coffee farmers and their families in and around Marcala, and tour the co-op’s innovative biodynamic model farm, Finca La Fortaleza, and members’ farms and the co-op’s dry milling facilities.

The group will then travel west to Copán to tour archaeological ruins of the Maya civilization before heading returning to San Pedro Sula for departure.
 
Students at the wet mill with Moisés Herrera.
Lab Cost: $1,850

*The cost of the lab includes all lodging, transportation, tours, lab materials, and meals—except alcoholic beverages—while in Honduras. Participants are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Application (limited to Counter Culture’s wholesale customers)

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the trip fills or JANUARY 15, 2016.
 


What to expect:
 
The 2015 Origin Field Lab group in Marcala, Honduras."My expectations were exceeded. I thought we covered all major aspects of the supply chain on the producer side thoroughly. I got nearly as much information from private discussions with group leaders and participants as I did from the structured class curriculum. That was unexpected and deeply enriching."

"The group dynamic was lively, relaxed and friendly. It made it so much easier to ask questions and absorb the cavalcade of information presented."

"[Origin Field Lab instructors] did a fantastic job leading the trip. They did a great job communicating with the participants and were always accessible to the group and highly engaged. I can't imagine the trip being run much more smoothly."


–past Origin Field Lab participants
 
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