Just one quarter of Antonio’s property is planted to coffee, the rest is native forest, protected by Antonio and monitored by the government who support Antonio finantially to protect native flora and fauna.
Similarly, the water Antonio uses for processing, comes from the farm and is protected. The forest on his farm is certified by the National Institution of Protection of Forrests (INAB).
He farms 64 manzanas of coffee, half in Caturra half in Borbon, the latter is currently re- growing after pruning. Havest way down this year due to drought over the flowering period.
Antonio is a fourth generation grower, twenty years in himself. He has always just sold cherry, like the vast majority of Guatemala’s small producers, and just four years ago started drying his coffee to sell parchment at differentiated prices. He has five daughters, no sons, and he is able to put them all through university thanks to selling specialty coffee. Selling parchment at differentiated prices has allowed Antonio to give his daughters opportunities he never had himself. Antonio has given the upper part of his farm to members of the local indigenous community who work on his farm.
Antonio has been processing specialty coffee for several years now, placing several times in the Cup of Excellence. In 2015 he placed 8th in fact.
Traditional tank fermentation takes 36 hours, followed by traditional patio drying over eight days. To reduce the amount of water used, Antonio has a demucilager to mechanically wash the fermented coffee. An ecologically-minded farmer, Antonio fertilizes with top-grade and highly efficient inputs to be able to apply less frequently and in less volume, he decomposes ad composts coffee pulp before applying it back to the farm as organic fertilizer, practices manual weeding and sprays just twice a year for Roya with the most non-toxic product on the market. He has planted many native leguminous shade trees, called Chalun, his soils have large rocks and boulders which protect from erosion, and his farm is home to lots of native squirrels, rabbits and snakes.
SOURCED BY SHARED SOURCE
We were introduced to Antonio through his brother-in-law, the head of one of the small associations in Huehuetenango we (Shared Source) work with. We’re in contact via whatsapp regularly. And already planning towards next eyar’s harvest. We purchase directly from Antonio. We negotiated prices in person with him. We paid 1,500 Quetzales per quintal (100 pounds of parchment). The highest he receives from previous buyers is 1300 Quetzales. Antonio then delivered the coffee to our chosen mill, to who we pay milling and export fees separately.