Bury St Edmunds-based Butterworth and Son are backing the women of Guatemala by bringing their coffee to Suffolk
Back in March, I wrote about a women growers co-operative I visited on my trip to Guatemala – the coffee has now landed and I am very excited as the final quality has exceeded initial tasting.
The Coiba co-op is made up of around 10 women who are farming land their families own. Typically, the husbands are working abroad to earn an income greater than is easily achievable in Guatemala and the wives are then responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the smallholdings and often raise the children.
The Guatemalan coffee growing industry is predominantly made up of generational male growers with typically very traditional systems for trading in place. Change in any part of the world can take time, but the ladies of Coiba have set their targets on making a name for themselves and have much pride in their work.
On my trip, I learnt about the hardships they have finding buyers for their coffee who will pay the real value for the quality of their crops – they manage their coffee trees with love and this is apparent in the quality. The easiest way to sell their coffee is to one of the many larger exporters which have offices throughout the region of Huehuetenango, but this will only net them a global rate for coffee, which has been lower than the cost to grow their coffee :(
Luckily, my good friend Nadine, who operates Primavera Coffee exporters in Guatemala, discovered them and knowing my sourcing ethics introduced me to them.
The global pandemic which has caused all countries to lockdown meant the co-op wasn’t able to sell all its coffee to the speciality markets.
To help raise awareness of the amazing coffee Coiba has produced, we will be featuring this coffee exclusively at FOLK in Bury St Edmunds and Applaud in Ipswich, both cafés owned and run by women. Both cafés will be donating an amount of money from each cup sold directly to the co-op and there will be a collection box in the cafés, too. Butterworths will also be donating money from each bag of coffee sold to the co-op in the hope of helping its members maintain their farms and to continue growing awesome coffee.
We’ll update this story on our Instagram and Facebook pages in the coming weeks, please do keep an eye out.
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Rob owns Butterworth & Son coffee roasters and tea smiths, based on Moreton Hall
His job takes him around the world visiting coffee farms to source great coffees