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Fair Trade Coffee from Mexico
Too often known only for its barren deserts and tropical beaches, Mexico is also one of the most important producers of coffee in the world. In fact 742,410 hectares (1,834,495 acres) are dedicated to growing the bean.
The Mexican climate, thanks to an exclusive location sandwiched between both tropics and subtropics, helps create every possible environment from snow-capped mountains to the aforementioned desert. It’s also one of the 12 “biodiversity hotspots” in the world, hosting more than 200,000 different species of animals and plants, corresponding to approximately 12 percent of the world diversity.
Coffee was introduced in Mexico in the early 19th century in the region of Cordoba. The long-standing popularity of the drink, and consistent demand for the beans, made widespread adoption of the crop easy among the local population and Mexico quickly became the third largest American coffee producer. Farmers were uniquely pioneers in the area of biological cultivation, using bees as natural pest controllers in order to significantly reduce the burden of chemical pesticides.
Coffee harvesting, even in this modern day and age, is still a very manual, labor-intensive process. During coffee season, coffee beans are picked by hand before being washed. After the pulp has been removed of the coffee cherry the beans are washed again, fermented, and dried. At this time, the coffee is called "pergamino" or "parchment coffee" due the thin paper-like layer which forms around the beans. The layer is removed, however, before the export.
Our Fair Trade partner, the Federación Indigena Ecologica de Chiapas ( FIECH ) is a cooperation of three smaller cooperatives in the province of Chiapas in the southeast of Mexico. Founded in 1993, today the organization has more than 3,800 members. Through the sale of Fair Trade certified products members of FIECH can be individually supported and encouraged. The main focus is on the expansion of knowledge, the growth of supporting infrastructure, and the improvement of social, economic and environmental standards.
Fair Trade Projects
Investments in workshops and other educational opportunities has increased coffee yields, as well as overall efficiency. Here are a few of the specific projects:
Optimizing Production and Quality
A nursery was founded by FIECH which continuously supplies local farmers with new coffee plants. Thanks to Fair Trade more than 3,000 hectares can be equipped with new coffee plants. The replacement of old trees by young plants allows for a higher yield and thus better productivity of individual farms. The increased productivity also increases revenues which are reinvested in;farms and cooperatives.
Coffee plants are very demanding on the surrounding environment, season after season. Farmers receive from FIECH both technical support as well as an organic agricultural toolkit to ensure sustainable cultivation without damage to the soil or the surrounding environment.
For children who live in remote areas, getting to school can be extremely difficult and dangerous. FIECH supports the education of children and youth through the construction of boarding schools, which allow students to stay at school during the week
Through the expansion of educational facilities on site, the displacement of populations and the continuing urban migration of traditional farming communities can be lowered.
Infrastructure and Economics
To allow better quality control, FIECH has built a new warehouse and items purchased . The Fair Trade premiums also allow the guarantee of microcredit to allow not only the running of existing farms but their expansion and development.
Gourmesso Fair Trade
You can support Fair Trade in Mexico through several of our coffee blends. Fair Trade coffee is part of the Gourmesso Messico Blend Forte, the Lungo Arabica Forte and all flavor varieties. Enjoy the tastes of Mexico, and get your Fair Trade experience through Gourmesso today!