Town/Region: Urrao, Antioquia
Producer: Grupo Pavon (collaboration of 20 smalholder farmers)
Altitude: 1900-2100 m.a.s.l.
Varietal: Caturra, Colombia
Processing: Fully Washed
In the cup: Juicy sweet and balanced, with a full body notes of blackcurrant, honey, cranberry, baking spices and orange pekoe tea.
This coffee has been produced by 20 smallholder coffee producers, collaborating under the name Grupo Pavón, all of whom are members of Cooperativa de Caficultores de Salgar (Coocafisa), a large Colombian cooperative that represents some 3,000 growers across Antioquia.
Coocafisa is the only cooperative with a presence in Urrao, a remote municipality of Antioquia that was hard hit by FARC violence in the 1990s. While the region is known for agriculture, it is less identified with coffee, and because of the remote location and the violence, the area has been slow to develop the necessary infrastructure for specialty production. Recently however, with the steps towards normalisation between FARC and the Colombian Government, some small-scale producers in the region have begun to make the most of their location—which presents the perfect conditions for high quality coffee.
Grupo Pavón was heavily inspired by Jose Arcado of Finca la Falda, two-time winner of Colombia’s Cup of Excellence and also from Urrao. The members of Grupo Pavón all have very small farms, and, with the help of Arcado, decided to work collaboratively to improve quality and collectively process and market their coffee. Remarkably, with much hard work and determination, they succeeded. In 2014, the group achieved third place in Colombia´s Cup of Excellence, under the name of Pablo Emilio Montoya (one of the group’s leaders), and took two top-60 positions in the local Best Cup of Antioquia competition.
The group’s win grabbed the attention of Pedro Miguel Echavarria, a coffee grower and exporter in Antioquia, who had already been anticipating great things from Grupo Pavón due to its collaboration with Jose Arcado. With the help of Echavarria, the group has gone from strength to strength and has been able to engage in a long-term quality improvement project. Not only has Pedro’s company committed to monthly visits to the cooperative in order to cup and advise on quality, they have also committed to purchasing all coffee produced by the group that achieves cup scores of 86 points or higher. Premiums gained for superior cup quality are passed on directly to the producers, covering the cost of production and allowing producers to reinvest in their farms and the cooperative itself. This has led to a transparent and consistent relationship with the group and the discovery of some amazing profiles.