Floremilda Baca Ramirez farms the 4 hectares of Finca Guaba in Lonya Grande, Utcubamba, Amazonas with careful attention to detail. The farm is organic certified. A member of JUMARP, she’s a part of the Mujeres Program that has been working to improve the livelihoods, autonomy and recognition of female coffee producers. Ramirez receives technical and financial support from the cooperative and has participated in various agricultural and coffee quality improvement workshops through the programme.
Foremilda uses no pesticides or herbicides on her farm, and her production is organic certified. During the harvest season, she selectively harvests the cherry by hand, often with the help of her family. She takes care to harvest only ripe, red cherry, revisiting each tree several times throughout the harvest season. After harvesting, she pulps the cherry using a low-water pulper before dry fermenting the beans for 20-30 hours. She then places the parchment in solar dryers (greenhouses) on raised beds where it will dry for about 15 days. During this time, the parchment is raked regularly to ensure even drying. After the parchment has reached 12% moisture level, it rests for five days on the farm and then another 10 days in the cooperative warehouse before being sold, milled and exported.
JUMARP was founded by José Carranza Barboza in partnership with 35 other smallholder farmers, in 2003. They created the association out of a desire to develop a new model of growing and exporting coffee.
All 188 members produce coffee certified as organic and Fairtrade. The cooperative invests the premiums received from these certifications in a number of important community projects including crop renovations, a fund for education programs and the construction of schools.
One of their program is the ambitious quality improvement program, which launched in 2012. Funded by Fairtrade and Organic premiums as well as government funding and member contributions, the program aims to raise general overall cup score to 85-86 by 2021. They’ve already taken tangible steps towards this goal and we’ve seen improvement in coffees since the initiation of the program. They built drying houses, manual pulpers and fermentation tanks at all member farms and planted higher quality varietals to address coffee quality at all stages of the production process from seed to cup.
The Mujeres Program
The Mujeres Program, named for the Spanish word for ‘women,’ seeks to improve social and economic standing for women members. JUMARP noticed that women were typically only involved in the cooperative peripherally, especially when it came to decision making. To increase women’s participation, they identified barriers to women’s active participation and then began implementing steps to get women more involved. The Mujeres program helps women develop their knowledge and skills of leadership, self-esteem, decision making, entrepreneur management and teamwork. The participants also receive sensory training and learn to roast in order to help them sell their coffee at a local market.