Peru’s first taste of coffee production was in the 1700s. Now, the country is home to more than 110,000 coffee growers. With extreme landscapes and diverse climates, growing coffee here certainly isn’t a walk in the park.
In the past, its farmers have been accused of focusing on quantity rather than quality, and to an extent this is true, but hidden somewhere amongst the mass of coffee beans exported lays some real delights.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between the farmers and their crops, and find out why the demand for Peruvian coffee is growing at the rate it is.
Farmers here are known to have had a rather tricky time growing coffee over the years. With many of them owning small plots of land, often in remote locations, transporting the fruits of their labour is just the beginning of their historic problems. Depending on where the farms are, journeys into town can take up to 8 hours, either by foot or by mule – not ideal when you’re carrying a week’s worth of coffee!
Often, they’d have to make this journey without knowing how many buyers would be there to meet them when they arrived. If they were met by just one buyer, which is known to have often been the case, they’d almost have to accept any price offered. This had a devastating effect on entire communities in Peru, where everything revolves around coffee production. That’s why many farms, particularly the more remote ones, were forced to focus on quantity rather than quality.
Fortunately, much of this has changed since Fairtrade cooperatives became more involved in Peru’s coffee production. As well as allowing famers to receive a fair minimum price, these organisations have helped by investing large sums of money into infrastructure and training farmers to improve the quality of their coffee. They’ve also helped farmers transition into the production of organic coffee, which is considerably more profitable. Now, Peru is one of the world’s biggest exporters of Fairtrade and organic coffee. Click here to read our full article on the benefits of buying Fairtrade coffee.
High-grown, shaded Arabicas grown high up in the Andes Mountains are responsible for some of the best flavours Peru has to offer. This unique altitude makes for a bright coffee with a touch of sweetness, often complemented with a lovely medium body.
When it comes to producing great quality coffee, Peru is easily a contender on the world stage. Sadly, things aren’t all plain sailing from here for Peruvian farmers. Some studies suggest that Peru is one of the top countries likely to be hit hardest by climate change. With this in mind, it’s important that we continue to indulge in its liquid wonders and hope that, once more, its passionate farmers are able to overcome the problems they face.Click here to learn more about our very own 100% Arabica single origin Peruvian offering. It promises subtle hints of walnut and caramel, enhanced by a sweet milk chocolate finish. All of our coffee beans are ethically and sustainably sourced, so you can be sure you’re doing your bit to help.