Certificates such as Organic, FairTrade and Rainforest alliance, are well represented by Peruvian coffee producers. Coffee is grown in the regions of Amazonas, Ayacucho, Cusco, Cajamarca, Junin, Huánaco, Piura, Villa Rica and Puno. We work with sourcing partners in Cajamarca and Amazones, which are areas that lend them selves particularly well to specialty coffee. In the past few years, the USDA noted that these areas produce nearly half of the country’s coffee. Our partners at CenfroCafe (Cooperative in Cajamarca), and HVC (partner in Amazonas) make sure that our quality standards are met, while quantities keep growing.
Specialty coffees from Cajamarca and Amazonas region are often full bodied, sweet, with bright acidity. The common flavor profile can be depicted by notes of cocoa, dried fruit, and light citrus. Coffees from Peru can both be a valuable single or accentuate a blend. There is a lot of Catimor in Peru, but also a good amount of old heirlooms like Bourbon and Typica – also labelled ‘National’ by locals. Other notable varieties found there are Catuai, Caturra and Mundo Novo.
The average Peruvian farmer cultivates between 2 and 3 hectares of coffee trees, and harvests between July and October. Processing is directly done within the compounds of the smallholder’s farm, often with manual crank de-pulpers. The coffee is fermented, sun-dried beside the road or on small patio’s, and delivered to a local mill where it is prepared for export. However, the farmers in Peru also faces challenges. HVC describes the general challenges in the Peruvian coffee industry to revolve around illiteracy, drying capacity, unpredictable rains and low wages.
Cooperatives and associations receive the parchment coffee from their smallholders. They make sure batches are sorted and checked for defects before shipping. There are two different ways farmer organizations are legally organized in Peru: through the traditional cooperative system and legal associations. Cooperatives, not limited by geography, can buy throughout Peru. Whereas associations are generally limited to a specific geographical area, meaning they can’t buy from neighbouring provinces.