Gender equality is one of the main focuses of this Association and Las Mujeres de La Coipa one of their leading programs
Field trip : Day 4 by Catalina
Arminda, the General Manager of Coffee GUAY
Luzmila picked me up again at 6 am in the morning but this time with Arminda, the General Manager of Coffee GUAY (APAE). She is the founder of this Association which is relatively new (created in 2011). Arminda has lot of struggle to initiate this Association mainly because La Coipa area was quite a “machista” zone. Producers didn’t want to have a woman as Manager, as they supposed to stay at home. This encourage even more Arminda to try and break the ice among the community as she was sure that the only way to make a live out of this business was associating with others.
She looked for help to try and change this attitude, and that’s when she decided to hire a psychologist to start talking about the importance of the role of women and the gender equality. Finally and after some months, she finally got the acceptance and support from other producers and the Association was created.
Currently they count with 248 partners of which 122 are women. They are located in La Coipa, within Cajamarca region. They produce little volumes about 23 containers, and all their coffees are FLO and Organic certified. We have full exclusivity for these coffees. This campaign we are doing already 6 containers of the program.
After an hour and a half driving we arrived to La Coipa, it’s a very small town with about 20.000 habitants. Diego, the agronomist, was waiting for us there. He is the responsible of leading all the technical trainings and keeping the certifications up to date. The Association is formed by 20 committees where there is one delegate reporting to Diego.
The reason behind their name Coffee Guay is quite a nice story. They first registered the brand as Guayacan that it’s a traditional tree in the area. The first settlers used the wood from the tree to build fences and houses. It’s a resistant one that it’s not so easy to break. The three has some flowers that also were used as medicines for stomach infections. Long short story, after trying to get this name registered, they realized the brand existed already, so just short it (Guay) to still keep the intention alive.
Coffee Guay has in total 522 has of coffee, land size of 2.5 ha per farmer with a productivity between 20/25 QQ per ha. The farms are in altitudes around 1400 and 1950 masl.
Coffee Guay has a collection point in the heart of La Coipa, but also one in Jaen. All the parchment is consolidated in Jaen where they have a laboratory with two people sampling and cupping all the deliveries. Then they truck the parchment to Chiclayo to get it processed and then exported.
The Association is very strict with glyphosate
We talked again about the glyphosate and I was glad to hear that they are paying lot of attention to this. The Association is very strict with the standard, and they are even removing those partners representing a high risk because of their locations. Also internal audits are done constantly, and non-announced ones to make sure all the producers are following the regulation.
Gender Equality is one of the main focuses of this Association and Las Mujeres de La Coipa one of their leading programs. The 122 women produce 2400 bags of coffee per campaign. I met many of them at the house of Carmen, one of the producers and part of the program. These are very enthusiastic and brave women that are fully focused on farming, trying to get a decent way of living and to maintain their families.
Some of the activities promoted by the program are: building orchards, PINIA (program of agricultural innovation, planting trees) and trout farming. Part of the social premium is directly invested on these projects.