Mountain Rescue - Guatemala

Smallholder Farmers of San Antonio Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Altitude 1,550-1,650 MASL
Process Washed
Variety Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon
Dark-Chocolate, Plum, Nougat

The Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA) provides a vital service here in the Lake District, helping injured and stricken hikers to safety from some of the most remote and precarious places in the country. The vast majority of incidents are safely resolved but there are inevitably a number of fatalities, and without the help of LDSAMRA this number would be much higher.

In order to carry out their work LDSAMRA rely on a team of brave and highly trained volunteers. We are friends with a number of them so are well aware of the great work that they do and the importance of donations to provide them with the kit necessary to do their job effectively.

With this in mind, we donate £1 per kilo of Mountain Rescue sold to LDSAMRA.**

** For the time being we will be splitting the £1 per kilo raised between LDSAMRA and the Rwanda Landslides Appeal more information about which can be found here

Our current Mountain Rescue coffee is grown by six smallholder farmers based around the town of San Antonio Huista in Guatemala's famed Huehuetenango region, and has been sourced via our importing partner Primavera.

Primavera was set up by Nadine Rasch who grew up in Guatemala and whose family have had a coffee farm there for four generations. After studying finance in London, Nadine ended up working for a commodities fund where she saw the price for commodity coffee drop sharply. She came to realise that the only way to maintain stable prices for coffee was through quality. After working for one year with speciality coffee importers Mercanta, she moved back to Guatemala to gain experience of how things worked on the ground.

Most of Guatemala's highest quality coffees come from the Huehuetenango region. This is a very remote area of Guatemala, and the farmers' traditional route to market has been through local coyotes who mix all the coffee they collect together a pay the 'market' price. This model leaves no incentive for farmers to practice methods that result in higher quality coffee, such as selective picking and better post-harvest processing. It is Nadine and Primavera's mission to change this. They want to educate farmers to produce better coffee that gives them access to the speciality coffee market, higher prices for their product and a more stable future.

This group of smallholder farmers are just some of the beneficiaries of Primavera's work. They are able to use the premium paid by Primavera to reinvest in their farms and wet mills in the hope of achieving higher yields and better quality coffee in the years to come. The coffee is washed in wet mills on each of the farms then sun-dried on patios. The dried parchment coffee is then transported to Nadine's family farm at Finca el Hato where it is sorted, dry-milled and packed for onward transport to ourselves.

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