The Cafinorte is a coffee farmers’ cooperative in the northern region of the Cauca department. Like most Cooperatives in the country, Cafinorte is linked to the nation-wide institutional and commercial network of the FNC.
The Cauca area is home to a rich diversity of cultures, traditions, and worldviews. Cafinorte shares this wealth of diversity within its membership. The coop has indigenous, afro-Colombians, mestizo Colombians, and many multiethnic and multicultural families and individuals.
With a diverse and rich culture as a group, they prioritize social inclusion and engagement. Besides ethnic diversity, the Cooperatives constituency spans growing regions with vastly different climates and geographies.
In part to honor this diversity, Cafinorte has chosen to engage in partnership with local grassroots farmer associations. These associations promote local cultural cohesion and attend to the specific needs of communities. Cafinorte adds value to these organizations sharing resources only attainable at scale. Resources include a professional quality lab, group purchasing of inputs, and access to the vast FNC commercial network.
A transversal effort that has proved to add value to Cafinorte’s membership and communities is their work to improve cup quality focusing on sensory analysis, constructive feedback to producers, and engaging young people with concepts of high-end specialty coffee production and quality control.
Cafinorte’s goal that has already begun to be realized is to allow the next generation of coffee growers to apply this technology and feedback to improve the competitiveness of their produce in today’s and tomorrow’s high-end specialty coffee market in order to bring economic stability and prosperous employment to the area, something ubiquitously stated as a prerequisite for lasting peace in the region.
“The Quality Control lab is an important tool for the cooperative because it helps producers to learn and improve. Here we have educated over 1000 young coffee growers in coffee analysis. The associations in the area have also benefitted from it, learning how their coffee is evaluated to then understand how to sell it.”