La Union Organic
Often in the region, producers will occasionally have more than one coffee farm; often purchasing a few hectares here and there as it becomes available: Such as the case for Martin Santos Zurita. For this lot, coffee from his farm La Quebrada was used. Located at 1900 meters above sea level, some distance from Martin’s home, Martin is able to produce an amazing cup profile; due to the farm’s excellent climate and fertile soil. Segundo Marcos Quinde lives at 1850 meters above sea level at his farm in La Union with his family (pictured). Here, Martin uses 4 of 5 total hectares to produce coffee to provide for his family.
Like so many in this region, farm names are chosen in honour of trees or natural features on the farm that stand out among the wilderness. This is often the case in the region. Farm names will be symbolic, referring to characterizable trees or features that help distinguish the farm. Profit from coffee farming in the region is often small; however, families have created a living from for themselves and their families, relying almost solely upon coffee for income. Although other produce is grown, coffee cultivation is often the sole means of income, with all other fruits of labour reserved for personal consumption.
Coffee was introduced to Peru in the mid-18th century via neighbouring Ecuador but was not commercially exported until the late 19th century. Production was only increased significantly after the turn of the 20th century, when Peru’s default on a loan owed to the British Government saw over two million hectares of land transferred to Britain (under the name of ‘The Peruvian Country’) as a repayment. A full quarter of this was put under agricultural production, including coffee, and it was at this point that export trade began in earnest.