The Asociación de Desarrollo Flor del Café (Coffee Flower Development Association) (aka “ASDEFLOR”) is a tiny collective of just 30 members, all of whom belong to the Mam Mayan indigenous community. Mam is still the language used, Spanish being a second-language used only when speaking to mestizos. The Association owns a communal wet-mill where most producers process their coffee. Fermentations are long and cold, between two and three days. Producers cover the tanks in thick plastic to make sure the fermentation is homogenous and clean. The wet-mill sits at 1700 masl where parchment is dried partially on raised beds and finished on patios.
The Association was legalized as ASDEFLOR in 2012 but the members had been working collaboratively long before. Previously they have only sold locally, bulking their parchment together and delivering to a Co-Op who pays market rate. Located quite far away, and often talking too long to deliver payment, many producers are choosing to hold their coffee back and look for other, better paying markets.
All the members of the Association used to be subsistence farmers of maize and frijol and many were forced to migrate to the US and send money home, and after planting coffee are now able to stay on their land and haven’t crossed the border since.
When we first started working with Asdeflor (2017) the local market price was arguably below the cost of production and it was relatively easy for us to pay attractive premiums, which we have continued to pay. Things have however begun to get a little trickier for producers (and ourselves as responsible buyers) this year and last because of a slew of negative events, including too much rain (leading to lower yields), increased migration to the USA, and higher input cost. So, while prices in Huehuetenango (and in Guatemala at large) rose this year by 25-35% compared to the 2021 season, there’s still an element of uncertainty and discomfort about how this stacks up in relation to (volume influenced) cost of production.When we visited Asdeflor in February 2022 (our first trip for several years due to pandemic travel restrictions), we attended a group meeting where these issues were discussed and where we settled on a reasonable base price. We were super excited at this meeting to meet a next generational of coffee producers, who, despite the uncertainties and difficulties, still see coffee as a way forward. We’re proud to work with Cruz Perez Pablo and the members of Asdeflor.
Pricing transparency: We paid between Q1600 and Q1775 per quintal (100 pounds) of parchment in March 2023 (representing a premium of 35% above the going price at the time)
Roasted for filter brewing. We ship coffee as whole beans by default, if you need your coffee ground, please let us know at the checkout.
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