The stories of a journey between lakes and volcanoes in pursuit of a exquisite coffee
I have landed in Nicaragua at the first weekend of December, with our new colleague Felix Crowling, where we would meet Antoine in the following day, and make a some visits during the week. In these visits, I was introduced to SMS agents and getting in contact with the local program and the particularities not only of the coffee production, but of the local way of life as well.
The Nica way of life is fairly distinguishable from their southern neighbors, the Ticos. In Nicaragua the local and traditional culture is much stronger, and they are proud of it. The local music, expressions and history are valued and appreciated. The indigenous influence in the culture is also stronger than in the southern border
In Nicaragua Supremo has an important relation with Clément Ponçon, a great personality and important coffee farmer at national level. Ponçon’s life deserves a particular mention in the coffee history in Nicaragua. He started to work there in the seventies, with any experience in coffee, today is one biggest producer in the country. His farms survived the war period and today is a key partner of Supremo in the ground. Arvid Nordquist buys no less than 70% of his production via Supremo. And he is one of potential partners for the expansion of Natural program in Nicaragua.
The drying process in Nicaragua is quite particular. Both washing and fermentation process are made at farm level, and coffee still wet is transported in closed nylon bags by truck to the patios. Normally all the companies have their own patios at the same region.
Nicaragua has a big potential, as not the total lands are cultivated. So, its current production, situated around 2 million bags per year has enormous possibility to grow, as well as the productivity, which is at 13 bags per hectare. In general, coffee plants are old, but the fertile land and access to biological inputs allow the old plants to keep a relative vigor.
ECOM is represented by Exportadora Atlantic, founded in the 90’s and hundred per cent owned by the group. Atlantic, whose is responsible for buying, drying and exporting the coffee works within 4 offices and 3 patios around the country. In Managua is located the central office, and the main patio at