October Featured Coffee: Fondo Paez
As you may have heard, Thread Coffee received a Best of Baltimore award of Best Local Roast for our Fondo Paez coffee. So in honor of the Fondo Paez farmers, and in celebration of this delicious brew, we'll be featuring this coffee this month. So we hope you enjoy this full-bodied, chocolatey coffee!
Fast Facts on Fondo Paez
Members - 550 producers
Harvest season: May to July
Approximately 8 containers annual production
Growing altitudes: 1300 - 1900 meters
FLO certified in 2005
General Assembly in March and October
Crop diversification includes sisal, beans, fruits
The Paez - or the Nasa - are the largest indigenous group in Colombia. Their land is in the Cordillera Central centered around the mountains of the Cauca department. Fondo Paez was founded in 1992 with the primary goal of recuperating traditional agricultural knowledge and indigenous culture which had been buried by centuries of conflict and oppression. Members of Thread have visited the farmers of Fondo Paez twice now, and they are some of the most inspiring farmers to work with. They've recently set up their own exporting cooperative, ExpoCoSurCa, which formed in response to a desire to have more control over how their coffee was bought and sold, and to whom.
Two of Thread's members visited Fondo Paez this time last year. Some of the farmers shared the difficulties they've been facing because of climate change. The biggest sign of this has been through the spread of la roya - coffee leaf rust - which causes the leaves of the plants to fall off, preventing the plants from producing coffee. On top of that, the rains have been less and less frequent, which has caused the harvest to come late. So farmers have been actively working to implement irrigation systems, composting, diversifying their plant varieties, and improving the shade canopy.
You can read more about Thread's visit to Fondo Paez and their exporting facility in a previous blog post. And you can also read a piece we wrote about how members of Fondo Paez are dealing with the effects of climate change.