3 de noviembre de 2020

Una conversación de café

1 de noviembre de 2020 | Emily Segura


Esta semana conocí al granjero que cultivaba mi café. "Un problema que aprendí en la vida..." dijo, "nosotros como humanos, somos simples. No pensamos en cómo se hacen las cosas." Bebemos café sin pensar, me dijo.

José Posada inspeccionando una planta de café


José David Posada, dueño de Capilla del Rosario, creció en una pila de cerezas de café, a los cinco años se le encargó la tarea de señalar los palos y las hojas que los recolectores se perdieron. "Solía beber café instantáneo", dijo. Se está contando la historia de José: la mayor finca especializada de Colombia, la segunda generación de agricultores, una buena idea que está convirtiendo una profesión moribunda en un próspero medio de vida para las generaciones colombianas. José transformó el cultivo tradicional de café en Colombia cuando probó el café especial por primera vez y comenzó a vivir y a enseñar "la manera especial" en la Capilla del Rosario. José atribuye el éxito de esta forma a muchos mentores que le inculcaron un modelo de negocio basado en la conexión con los consumidores. La interdependencia de los consumidores y los agricultores es "importante para que nosotros (los agricultores) podamos mejorar en nuestras fincas, y los consumidores puedan realmente beber mejor [café]", dijo José. El deseo de ayudar a las pequeñas explotaciones agrícolas y de crear confianza a través de relaciones profundas con los agricultores - tenemos estos valores, pero cuando nuestras marcas favoritas dicen que también lo hacen, a veces es principalmente para el beneficio de ellos mismos en lugar de las causas que dicen apoyar. Entonces, ¿cómo sabemos que están siendo auténticas?


Primero, hay un problema

En la "crisis mundial del café" de hoy en día, los medios de vida están en juego.


Colonial racism is at the root of what has continued to be an industry steeped in systemic injustice. Today’s specialty coffee industry was paved in the late 1700's by the slave labor of imported African and the first coffee plantations’ indigenous peoples. This disadvantaged position correlates with the lack of education for some farmers, a real setback considering the heavy reliance on academics in agronomy data collection and in navigating the coffee market. Much of the world’s specialty coffee today is grown by farmers who are still treated this way. Through colonization, the world was united by this steaming morning ritual, and so too have we been divided.


Specialty coffee research reveals what Jose confirmed: coffee is seen by farmers as a poverty crop. His story was like that of many farmers today: the returns on coffee often aren’t making it all the way down the pipeline, causing farms to be abandoned, coffee quality to slide, and leaving farmers without a sufficient income to put their children through school. For a coffee that costs about $3.00, after the coffee shop’s rent and staff are paid; the price of the milk, napkin, and cup with its accessories are factored in; a profit is made and taxes paid, the actual coffee in that cup costs 15-20 cents. And of those cents, after the roaster's costs and margin; the exporter or trader, the transporter, and processor have received their pay, the farmer’s return is about 3 cents, or 1% of the cost of that coffee you just drank. This isn’t profitable, said Jose.


La solución:

Por eso iFinca es una verificación por parte de terceros del precio pagado al agricultor, la autenticidad de la historia del agricultor; y ofrece todo el viaje del grano a la taza como transparente y rastreable hasta el agricultor.

“My biggest challenge was when my father lost his faith in [the farm].” Then Jose’s voice brightened, “And my biggest achievement was when my mother and father wanted to come back to join the farm again.” Jose's farm is growing, and his mission is to pass his gift of knowledge to budding coffee farmers. Trust grows from experiences, Jose reminded me.

Jose speaks for many farmers in that it’s not only consumers who want to make informed decisions, but it’s farmers too who want transparency. They want to know the people who handle their coffee once it leaves the farm. Jose told me about one of his clients who wants to offer funky profiles in their Korean coffee shop. “When I know what my client wants, I can decide my fermentation process," he said. Through partnerships with several non-governmental organizations (NGO's), he is also working on a honey bee protection project, reducing chemical use, is planting shade trees, and paying his pickers above average--all causes that he has learned matter to his clients and that he is able to address in order to keep their business. Knowing his consumers empowers him to make sustainable and ethical trade decisions that support his business, family, and local economy; and to produce coffee that we love.

Usando la aplicación iFinca puedes conectarte con cada productor de café.


iFinca, together with several NGO's and members of the coffee supply chain including exporters, importers, specialty coffee roasters and cafes are finding ways to create a better future for coffee by promoting transparency and traceability within the coffee supply chain, and focusing on directly improving the livelihoods of farmers in this dynamic industry.


As a community of specialty drive-up orderers, home brewers, and coffee shop bench-warmers, we have a social responsibility in drinking coffee. Among our diverse tastes, we can agree on this--we care that our coffee is purchased ethically because if it doesn’t matter to us how the steps were taken for the beans to reach our local roaster, and how much the farmer was paid compared to the cost of that cappuccino you're drinking, then they don’t matter. And if those don’t matter, then cyclical poverty will not break free and the coffee we love will soon become obsolete.


Mi responsabilidad, la tuya, es cuidar del café y de los medios de vida que representa. Puedes descubrir más agricultores como José y sus historias escaneando el singular código QR "Conozca al Agricultor" en los cafés y marcas participantes.

Finca Capilla Del Rosario


Algunos consejos para crear un futuro mejor:


A good idea: Keep an open mind. Nobody knows the answer to create change. If we did, the world's problems would be solved. Listen to this A Sustainable Mind podcast episode 010, Getting Real About What Kind of Action Really Improves the Planet


Una idea mejor: Sea curioso. Pregúntele a su tostador local sobre la historia detrás de esos frijoles, quién es el granjero y cuánto le pagaron. (Lea acerca de los precios de las granjas aquí)


The greatest idea: Follow people who have ideas, and speak up about your own. Our individual lifestyle changes change entire systems. Tell your local barista what you like about coffee. Buy coffee that lives up to transparency, traceability, and authentic connection with it's farmers


"Hay un café, y yo bebo, y no conozco a la gente que está detrás de él", José recordó sus primeros días de consumo de café. "Pero", se interrumpió, "la gente de hoy está considerando". La gente se preocupa por el origen de su café y están marcando la diferencia para mejor, y es obvio porque las granjas como la de José están prosperando y todavía lo estamos bebiendo.