partner stories

Colombia - El Faldón (2020)

Colombia - El Faldón (2020)
Over the years, we've had the pleasure of visiting Rubén several times. On our first meeting, he spoke about the challenges of farming & stressed his desires for un cliente: a consistent business partnership which would provide stability to his coffee-growing operation by circumventing the need to manage the volatility of selling against an international open market (with its swings, stagnations, and bottoms). With this and other points, his perspectives impressed us as much as the quality of his product. By reaching a consensus on the caliber of his product and on what it is truly worth, Partners and El Faldón entered into such a relationship -- one based on mutual sustainability: consistency of product, stability of finances, and growth.

In that time, it has been our pleasure to watch that relationship flourish first hand. As the market has swung, and the last two years, bottomed below the costs of production, the price transacted for this coffee (we buy all of his specialty production) has remained stable. And of course his coffee has never tasted better! With this level of stability, Rubén has been more empowered than ever to invest in his farm. In three years of being hosted on El Faldón, we've seen the beneficio rebuilt with a new, motorized depulper, fresh tile, and a newly designed washing channel. The drying capacity has been tripled, replacing sun-exposed patio with one (and then two) parabola-covered drying beds. The homestead has been transformed, first with the additions of a modern commercial oven/range and then a modern refrigerator (both rarities in Latin American agrarian locales). The house has been remodeled with fresh stucco, paint, and  Rubén's crowing luxury: tile throughout, replacing the cement of the bedrooms, kitchen, and veranda. Last year, he completed construction on a new road to the farm, dramatically improving the efficiency and ease of bringing coffee down to town via burros.

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