BOLIVIAN COFFEE, ORGANIC & FAIR TRADE
With a production of around 5,400 tons of Arabica, 80% of which is exported, Bolivia is a small coffee producer on the international market.
But it does have a remarkable organic and climate potential in certain areas (the Yungas mainly) for growing coffee. Today, nearly 30,000 families, mostly small growers, rely on the coffee industry. Over time, and especially over the past 15 years, they have acquired the knowledge in techniques, administration, and sales that is needed in order to export the coffee directly.
Farming cooperatives manage more than 70% of national production, half of which takes place through fair trade. It is estimated that over half of the families that grow coffee in the country are members of a cooperative. Each organization counts between 50 and 400 families and independently manages all production and transformation operations.
Where does our coffee come from?
The Yungas include the Amazonian foothills, which is a mountain region located at the limit of the Amazonian forest and the elevated steppes of the Andean mountains. Covered in thick forest in the low zones, this side of the Andean mountains offer a warm and humid climate that is ideal for growing Arabica coffee between 1,300 and 2,000 meters. The Caranavi province provides nearly 80% of the national production, and its economy depends entirely on the coffee industry.
The production system, which is essentially organic and respectful of agro forestry, contributes to maintaining biodiversity as well as the quality of the environment and the originality of this blend.
The Cafés Lobodis are the biggest importer today for fair trade coffee in Bolivia, and one of the first to have invested in a direct relationship between cooperatives and small producers. In this unprecedented context, it was imperative to increase their proximity with producing cooperatives, at first in order to coordinate and to guarantee supply. After this, they quickly began to provide support for training and technical assistance processes for the producers.
The office employs 2 local professionals, including 1 agronomist who specializes in coffee.
Technical assistance is provided in 2 ways:
- Training in various areas that are identified by producers and organizations that are involved in local production. Plots have been established in order to serve as areas for training for all operations related to production;
- Joint financing for small investments on a community level related to improving coffee plants (green houses, producing fertilizer...) and even material necessary for operations that have been developed by groups of women.