An important part of our approach to agro-enterprise involves making the chain that links farmers to markets more transparent. The idea is that the more farmers understand the market end of the chain — consumer preferences, market trends, quality standards, product presentation, etc. — the more effectively they can meet the demands of the market. For farmers in the specialty coffees market — and the organizations that support them — this usually means a long journey from the coffeelands to the United States or Europe to talk with roasters and retailers and visit the roasteries and cafés where their coffee is roasted — or “revealed” — and served. With the recent growth of markets for high-quality coffee in producing countries, that trip can be much shorter.
Last week, members of the CAFE Livelihoods team met in San Salvador, and took time out to visit with the good folks at Viva Espresso, who roast and serve coffee with as much care for its quality as many of the leading cafés in the United States. Viva Espresso’s owners, Lily Pacas and Federico Bolaños, provided a crash course in quality for the CAFE team in a location that was close to home (and less than an hour from the coffeelands). Thanks, Lily and Federico!