Our FTO (Fair-Trade, Organic) Colombia Sierra Nevada is produced by just 78 family growers, located within the isolated Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta coastal mountain range in Northern Colombia’s Magdalena Department. Their co-op, The CooAgroNevada, also known as The Cooperative of Sierra Nevada and Santa Marta Coffee Growers and Farmers, unites these coffee growing families from 19 different villages with the combined goals to improve social welfare, economic growth, quality of coffee and eco-tourism while preserving the region’s picturesque peaks, rivers and valleys. They are also supporting greater participation of women in the coffee industry.
Since their founding in 2007, The CooAgroNevada has focused on implementing a number of sustainable systems including mechanical drying silos, solar drying beds and water treatment plants for cleaning and recycling organic waste water from the washing and fermentation process. The latter is particularly important due to the fact that nearly 1.2 million people rely on the freshwater supplied by the rivers of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range. The co-op produces mainly washed Castillo, Caturra and Colombia varietals during their main growing season of October – December and a mid-crop season (mitaca) of April to June.
Producers here also utilize specialized agroforestry systems which take advantage of the region’s tropical rainforests, and perennial, natural shade canopy trees that reach heights upwards of 130 ft. The co-op has also invested in commercial roasting equipment in order to promote their own domestic specialty coffee market, which helps to enrich local commerce and increase national and international interest.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range is part of the Colombian Andes and the world’s highest coastal mountain range with a highest peak of 18,700 ft (5700 m), located a mere 26 miles from the Caribbean coast. With an abundance of rich topsoil, annual rainfall of 160 in/year and year-round temperatures between 64 – 84° F, the region is very well-suited for the production of high grade arabica coffee.
|Region:||Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta|
|Variety:||Castillo, Caturra, Colombia|
|Altitude:||2,400 - 5,200 ft (750 - 1600m)|
|Harvest:||Oct - Dec (main), April - June (mid-crop)|