Peru Familia Lizana Fair Trade Organic
Last year we offered a special micro lot from La Prosperidad de Chirinos co-op member Silvia Lizana. We were so happy with the quality of her coffee, we asked for a larger lot this season. In order to supply this increased volume, she teamed up with her father Juan, who manages two small farms, for this lot we’re calling Familia Lizana. At just 30 years old, Silvia represents the next generation of quality driven, innovative coffee farmers at Chirinos. Silvia started her coffee career at a young age, learning all about coffee farming from her father as she was growing up. Both Silvia and Juan’s farms are located near the village of Chirinos in the San Ignacio Province, of the Cajamarca growing region.
Last time we visited Chirinos, they were building a new dry mill in town and were eager to show off an experimental farm where different coffee varieties and drying methods were being tested. The cooperative was established in 1968 by a group of just 36 farmers who aspired to produce high-quality coffee. The group formed at a time that the federal government supported formation of cooperatives with the goal of improving socio-economic conditions in Peru’s northwestern communities, which historically had been overlooked by the state. Over the years the cooperative has struggled to overcome challenges but, the group’s solidarity and collective vision motivated members to reorganize and move forward. Under new leadership, the co-op focused its efforts on sustainable agriculture to improve coffee quality and secure better prices. It also implemented a series of quality standards for its organic coffee, including keeping organized records to track data about each farm. In 2007, the cooperative established its own cupping lab to monitor cup quality. Members are currently taking part in a project to identify cup profiles according to micro-region and to measure the correlation between quality and altitude. Today, there are 867 members in the Chirinos cooperative.