Colombia - La Pradera
« A tropical cup with notes of pineapple, almond, fig, apricot, honey, plum, cocoa, cherries and grapes »
- Producer: Oscar Daza
- Altitude: 1600-2000m
- Environment: Tropical
- Species: arabica
- Varietal: Tabi, Castillo
- Harvest: Manual/November to january
- Process: Natural
- Drying: Patios
Oscar Daza owns 8 farms in the Santander region, near Aratoca village. Finca La Pradera is organic and 'Bird Friendly' certified. Oscar produces coffee under shade and there are no less than 15 species of trees to provide it. Hid agroforestry system goes agains the Federation's recommendations, but he firmly stands by it. He is sure that preserving shade coffee production and quality can only improve his coffee.
The 'Bird Friendly' standards are the strictest of all the environmental standards. Farms must not only be certified organic, but must also meet additional criteria to ensure the forest cover serving as a habitat for birds and other wildlife is preserved. Bird Friendly coffees therefor offer all the environmental benefits of an organic coffee. The additional standards call for at least 40% shade coverage and serve to regulate the diversity and size of the trees making up the forest canopy. They ensure a variety of habitats exist, supporting an abundance of wildlife. Surveys conducted by biologists have revealed that a shade coffee plantation harbours almost as much biodiversity as a rainforest.
THE STORY OF THE PRODUCER
Oscar Daza has taken over La Pradera from his father, Jose Rosario Daza, and today he heads a group of 8 farms, four of which belong to his family. All are certified organic and Bird Friendly. He is the first in the region to finance his own organic certifications, which is something the Federation usually pays for. He has an entrepeneurial temprament, and it was this that pushed him to become independent, in order to find his own customers, be free tom make his own decisions and manage his production in line with his own vision of growing coffee. He explained his great faith in shade production, and has no less than 15 species of trees growing on the farm. Despite a few difficult years spent battling with the Federation, Oscar has now finally found his own customers and now sells more than 60% of his production directly for export.