Ecuador's PROCAFEQ

Posted by Robert Rice on May 28, 2008

coffee farm resembling jungle

Coffee farm resembling jungle. Great habitat for birds and great place to grow rich coffee.

farmer picking coffee beans off bush

Farmer picking coffee beans.

processing coffee beans

Workers processing beans.

coffee farmers

Coffee farmers.

The group "PROCAFEQ" (Association of Highland Coffee Producers from Espíndola and Quilanga) receives Bird Friendly® certification

Established in the year 2000 in Ecuador's southeastern province of Loja, PROCAFEQ is an organization of coffee producers whose plots are well situated for quality coffee. The communities have been in place for several generations, and the area now falls under the protection of a biosphere reserve called "Podocarpus-El Condor". The "contones" or counties of Espíndola and Quilanga boast some high-grown coffee at elevations between 1400 and 2000 meters above sea level. A marked dry season and a saturated wet season—800 to 1000 mm of rain concentrated mainly in that period each year, but with periodic excesses that reach 50% more) places growers in PROCAFEQ in a world of climatic extremes.

The group consists of 311 producers, more than half of whom are certified "Bird Friendly®". With 320 hectares of certified shade coffee ("BF"), these growers produce more than 40,000 pounds of certified coffee each harvest-a yield, when calculated, that is low and capable of improvement. And that is exactly what PROCAFEQ is working on with its larger, export organization called FAPECAFES (www.fapecafes.org.ec), a federation of organic producers growing not only coffee, but bananas as well.

We welcome PROCAFEQ to the Bird Friendly® program. Their cultural practices in the coffee production process showcase some of their good land stewardship. We look forward to helping them place their quality, high-grown shade coffee in markets that will not only preserve habitat for birds, but bring premium prices to these growers by linking conservation to the marketplace.

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