Mayorga in Bolivia
Bolivia is a geographically diverse country in the heart of South America. While the capital La Paz is the world’s highest capital city at 11,913 ft. above sea level, the North is much lower and temperate, the perfect climate for growing organic coffee.
When the Mayorga team arrived in La Paz, we met the leader of SCAGREM – Elias. After touring their mill in the outskirts of La Paz and meeting the staff, we cupped the coffee. The flavor profile was busting with rich and nutty notes. Immediately, we remembered why we were so excited to be sourcing this coffee.
Mayorga then traveled with SCAGREM to Caranavi. At a lower elevation, Caranavi acts as a hub for Bolivian organic coffee producers. We shared some meals of delicious typical Bolivian cuisine, including chuños (dehydrated black potatoes), chicken, and llama.
We then went up to the isolated mountain community of Calama where the coffee is grown. Conversing with farmers, learning about the manual milling equipment they use, and discussing the state of the harvest, it was evident how much pride they have in the coffee they grow.
What an unbelievable experience! We cannot wait to visit again.
Cooperative name: Sociedad Agroindustrial Green Mountain SCAGREM S.R.L.
Leaders of Co-Op: Eustaquio Huiza and Elias Choconapi
Number of members in coop: 30
Date coop was established: 21 de Enero de 2013
Elevation: 4,593 – 5,741 feet above sea level
Varietals: Catuai, Caturra, Mondo Novo and Typica.
Harvest season: May- August
Certified Organic since year: 2014
Process: Fully washed
Time it takes to get to coop from main international airport: Approximately 6 hours
Other sources of income besides coffee: Citrus fruits and plantain
More about the Co-Op:
SCAGREM was formed on January 21st, 2013 when a group of 30 producers from the Province of Caranavi decided to get together in order to commercialize in a more efficient manner their coffee. At first they considered joining one of the existing cooperatives that works in the region, but the cost of joining per producer was too elevated. They decided to form SCAGREM and they have been working as a group on increasing productivity and renovating farms, as the area was affected by the coffee rust fungus. Their goal is also to be able to establish direct relationships with roasters in order to establish more efficient commercial relations, seeking to obtain better prices for their quality coffee, thus improving the livelihood of their members.
The vision of SCAGREM is to be able to create a sustainable business model of diversified crops grown organically, having their own , adequate infrastructure to process these crops. They aim to work with an economic model that incorporates solidarity and that allows the generation of better income for the families that produce organic coffee, through the promotion of a more efficient production system and the transformation/processing of products to be commercialized in local, national and international markets, thus impacting in better livelihoods for the coop members and their families.
IMAGES FROM OUR RECENT VISITS TO BOLIVIA