Finca Santa Maria is one of our most recent Direct Trade partners, located high in the mountains of the Nariño region of Colombia. The farm benefits from a high elevation of almost 1900 meters, and rich volcanic soils. Finca Santa Maria has been growing coffee for almost 40 years. In the beginning, the owner at the time set goals with clear technical concepts on how to grow their Caturra variety to produce the best results.
They have taken steps to make their farm environmentally sound, incorporating a shade canopy to maintain a natural balance between flora and fauna (plant and animal life). Sustainable farming techniques and soil conservation initiatives have produced amazing results for their Caturra variety. In the early 1990′s, the ownership of the farm changed hands, and is now managed by Armando Benavides Portilla. Armando maintained the sustainable practices that produced such great results over the history of the farm. His first initiative in the 1990′s was replanting the trees. Finca Santa Maria is a role model example of sustainable agriculture and regional management practices in Colombia, hosting multiple tours for local farmers, technical institutions and universities.
The farm benefits from the rich volcanic soils and high elevation of almost 1900 meters. During our visit, it was clear their commitment to sustainable practices and quality. The overall quality of life has improved for the families working on the farm. Good management goes well beyond producing great coffee. It is about coming together, with enriching experiences, family and friendships.
Just as Jeff and Maritza were in Colombia to visit Finca Santa Maria in May, bandits raided the farm. You can read Jeff’s account of the loss and damage here. Proceeds from the sale of this coffee will go to the fund for the rebuilding of Finca Santa Maria.