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The territory of Peru offers a great diversity of climates, soils and sunlight, an ideal scene for the cultivation of the Arabica coffee tree, one of the two preferred types of coffee. Currently, Peru is one of the top ten world coffee exporters and the second in organic coffee. The three prominent coffee growing areas, located in the eastern slopes of the Andes, are Chanchamayo, the Amazonas and San Martin regions, and the southern highlands.

The Chanchamayo Valley is one of Peru’s most important coffee-growing regions; it’s responsible for about 40% of Peru’s total production. The coffee is grown by smallholder producers who generally own two hectares or less of land and generate 3,000 pounds of coffee or less each year. This particular offering is regionally-sourced, or drawn from multiple producers’ lots in order to make a full shipment of coffee. Cupping notes tend to be lightly acidic while still sweet with a smooth finish.

In 2022, members of the Wicked Joe team were humbled by the experiences they shared with the women of COOPAFSI, or more specifically, Las Damas de San Ignacio, in Peru. Having been long time partners in the coffee industry, this was the first time we got to meet the women responsible for growth and production of coffee within their co-op - this includes farmers, traders, quality control graders, financial advisers, agronomists, managers, and presidents.It was impressive and interesting to witness the impact this group has on sustainability efforts and economic empowerment. Currently there are over 600 farms participating with COOPAFSI. COOPAFSI’s emphasis on empowering female producers is suggested to strengthen the general communities with members, as it gives women financial control at a family-level, providing predictable cash-flow, and for a localized prioritization of investment. They argue retention speaks to the efficiency of COOPAFSI - the hope is that by paying forward funding and financing to interested farmers, this will encourage long-term participation, and improve the industry through values of sustainability and quality to be passed along. The women of Las Damas prioritize education in the communities, especially in regard to youth. New schools, better farming practices, and increased access to equipment are just a few resources COOPAFSI continues to offer.