Bird Friendly Farmers Near the El Triunfo Reserve in Chiapas

June 26, 2012 by Robert Rice



Twenty-five coffee farmers who are cooperative members belonging to the Grupo de Asesores de Producción Orgánica y Sustentable, S.C. (know as “GRAPOS”) in southern Mexico have recently been inspected and certified by Control Union as Bird Friendly producers. Together, these small-scale producers offer nearly 4 containers (140,000 lbs) of Bird Friendly coffee each harvest. The harvest months for this area, which lies near the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas, are December to March. The varieties of coffee are the older, heritage-like types: 80% “arabigo” and 20% “bourbon”.

The region's elevation of 1100 to 1250 meters means that the coffee produced here fits the profile for many roasters' altitudinal requirements for quality coffee—especially at this latitude. With some 150 hectares in production from these few growers, the coming harvests might find more farmers from the GRAPOS organization joining the BF program via inspections and certification as they see the benefits of this shade certification.

The accompanying images show the growers' group in an assembly, as well as the organization's logo. It is evident from the images that the origins and production of this global commodity are linked to rural communities of landowners of humble means. These are the people recognized and rewarded via premium prices associated with their certified coffee. As good land stewards, they are the first line of actors in linking conservation to the market place.