Crimson Cup Expands Direct Trade Relationship with Honduran Coffee Farmers

Greg (front) and David Lopez at the wet mill, where the coffee cherries are de-pulped.

Greg (front) and David Lopez at the wet mill, where the coffee cherries are de-pulped.

It’s been a busy spring here at Crimson Cup! Our cuppers are becoming world travelers as we focus on building direct-trade relationships with small farmers and on supporting development of sustainable coffee harvests.

Founder and President Greg Ubert recently returned from a visit with David Lopez, who runs a coffee farm and wet mill in El Socorro, Honduras. Crimson Cup has been working with local farmers in the region 2011 – the year that the Wall Street Journal reported that Honduras was surpassing Guatemala as Central America’s top coffee exporter.

Honduras is one of the world’s poorer countries, and small farmers have often received only a small fraction of the price their coffees bring on the world market. We believe education is the key to changing that.

David has an incredible story of the power of education. He grew up in El Socorro and attended school through the sixth grade, but had to leave to further his education.

After graduating high school, he got a job at a larger coffee mill, learning many processes that hadn’t been implemented in El Socorro. He then returned home, started his own coffee mill, and began teaching other farmers what he had learned.

Greg works with students at the new computer lab desks.

Greg works with students at the new computer lab desks.

During this trip, Greg donated new desks for the computer lab and funds for a playground fence around the community’s Jose Cecilio del Valle elementary school, in which a single teacher instructs about 60 children between first and sixth grade.

Greg also met with a number of El Socorro farmers to discuss consistency in growing and processing methods. David allows multiple community farmers to use his wet mill, which helps ensure consistency and quality with the production of coffee beans from the region.

Greg, Jorge Ovalle ( the youngest q-grader) and David Lopez hold drying coffee beans.

From left: Greg, Jorge Ovalle (the youngest q-grader) and David Lopez hold drying coffee beans.

 

By advising the farmers on growing and processing techniques, we’re helping to improve the quality of the coffee. We can then pay more for the crop than the farmers obtain on the open market.

We’re excited about the potential of Direct Trade to create win-win relationships for everyone who loves coffee. Coffee farmers and their workers achieve a better standard of living, coffee roasters secure a lasting supply of quality coffee, and coffee house customers enjoy truly delicious coffee produced in harmony with the environment and humanity.

This is only one of several trips to coffee’s countries of origin that Crimson Cup is taking this year. Team members have already visited Costa Rica and Guatemala, and Greg plans to return to Honduras in a few weeks.

Since 1991, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has hand-roasted great-tasting specialty coffee in Columbus, Ohio. We’ve also taught more than 250 independent business owners how to be successful in specialty coffee through our coffee franchise alternative program. 

Questions about opening a coffee shop? Or want to learn more about our wholesale coffee roasting programs for specialty grocerscolleges and universities and restaurants and food service operators? Give us a call at 888-800-9224 or fill out this form, and we’ll get right back to you!

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