Asociación de Productores de Café Especial La Orquídea (ASOPROCAFEES) | 200 members
Caturra, Castillo, Colombia, and Typica
Planadas, Tolima, Colombia
April-August | December- February
1400 – 2000 meters
Fully washed and dried in the sun
For many years, Tolima has remained hidden in plain sight cradled between other well-known coffee growing regions because armed conflict and coca leaf production isolated small coffee producers and exposed them to high rates of violence. During this time the municipality of Planadas, located in the southernmost corner of Tolima, had remained an untapped source of specialty coffee where thousands of producers have been cultivating coffee on just a few acres of land intercropped with shade trees, bananas, corn, beans and sugarcane. As conflict has subsided in recent years, locally organized associations have taken the lead in creating market access for these producers. Established in 2014 with 59 producer-members Asociación de Productores de Café Especial La Orquídea (ASOPROCAFEES) has focused on certifications and training producers in best organic practices. The cooperative has invested in basic infrastructure needs like road improvements, establishing local warehouses, creating micro-credit for producers and investing in social programs on a larger and more impactful scale, using the collective resources generated from the sale of coffee. Environmental training programs, healthcare initiatives, life insurance, and educational opportunities are just some of the ways the cooperative strives to improve the quality of life for coffee producers and their families. Producers carefully harvest and sort cherries before depulping, fermenting, washing, and drying the coffee using their own micro-mills. Traceability and quality control throughout the post harvest process is also ensured because ASOPROCAFEES collaborates with Lohas Beans, a Colombian exporter company and trusted Royal partner, to prepare their coffee for export.