El Salvador's Bird Friendly® Farms
March 10, 2008 by Robert Rice
The Batres Family of El Salvador produces world-class coffee on several farms, three of which now bear the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's (SMBC) "Bird Friendly®" certification mark. The farms are called Santa Teresa, Tempisque, and Maxtapulat.
Coffee processed by the Batres family is washed in the warm mineral waters associated with the geothermally active area. The Tempisque and Maxtapulat farms grow 100-percent Bourbon coffee at elevations of 1,000 to 1,200 meters (3,280 to 3,937 feet) above sea level. The rainfall averages 1,800 millimeters (71 inches) per year, and the harvest season stretches from December to March.
At the Santa Teresa farm, the production area lies between 850 and 1,300 meters (2,789 to 4,265 feet) above sea level, with an average rainfall of 1,700 (67 inches) millimeters annually. Along with the Bourbon variety of coffee, Santa Teresa also produces a variety called Catuai.
These coffees are unique in the way they are processed, and have won a number of quality and environmental awards nationally and internationally. All the coffee from these farms is washed in what the Japanese refer to as "onsen" or hot springs mineral water. For that reason, at least some of the Batres coffee makes it to the Japanese market as Bird Friendly® "Onsen" coffee (see image).
Aside from the environmental benefits of producing organically certified coffee (a pre-requisite for Bird Friendly® certification), the farms have a new school and provide medical care for the workers. Major contributor to employment of the area, these farms together produce several lots of 275 bags (37,500 pounds per lot) of green, ready-to-roast quality coffee each year.
We welcome the Batres family to the Bird Friendly® program, and are happy to have them as an excellent example of the Bird Friendly® concept of shade certification in coffee farms.
Contact information for these farms:
Marco y Teresa Batres
Calle La Loma No. 214
Colonia Escalón, San Salvador, El Salvador
Elevation: 850-1300 meters
Number of Growers: 1
Pounds of Coffee: 150,000
Notes: Coffee washed with warm mineral springs water