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UMAMI AREA HONDURAS - FINCA RIO COLORADO PROJECT

30/01/2018

di Alessio Simonetta
ultimo aggiornamento 08/02/2018 02:18:34

FROM SUSTAINABILITY TO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Umami Area, is an association dedicated to high quality coffee training, it has developed recent strong collaborative links with Cooperative COCAFCAL (Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada), which began thanks to the organization of Umami Coffee Campus, two weeks of coffee training in farms associated with Coffee Diploma System of SCA (Speciality Coffee Association). A group of Umami’s partners recently bought the farm “Finca Rio Colorado” located at North West side of Honduras, in Copán region, exactly at the border with the protected area of Celaque National Park, Unesco world heritage.

Finca Rio Colorado - photo by Matteo Mabilia

The farm is located at an altitude between 1150 and 1250 meters above sea level and includes a varied landscape composed mainly of pine woods and platano’s tree. The borders of the farm is delimited by two rivers, to the north the Rio Colorado, to the south the Aruco.
The extension of the propriety is about forty hectares that are cultivated coffee trees between two and seven years of age. Belonging to the Arabica species but different varieties: Catuai (Red, Yellow e Orange) and Catimor cultivar IHCAFE 90 and Lempira
The position of the farm just to the bottom of Celaque mountains with the rivers surrounding it helping the terroir have the best environmental conditions for the coffee production in terms of humidity and soil fertility.
At he moment the finca is only certified by the Rainforest Alliance and a few months back it has started the transition to purely organic cultivation, prerogative that does not allow the use of chemicals fertilizer. This change will require a three years work cycle during which it must follow the organic certifications rules.

A. Melendez - photo by Matteo Mabilia

Alex Melendez, the agronomist of COCAFCAL is the supervisor of this process: 
“Finca Rio Colorado is a very interesting project with a big potential, thanks to the two rivers that pass close to it, it will be possible to develop different experimental sustainable cultivations facilitating the biodiversity and so to be an example to follow.
Furthermore this project will help the local social-economic development creating a new employment with the building of a space dedicated to an interactive museum about the history of coffee cultivation in the Las Capucas area, the visitors will be able to see the exhibition of various machines, from the most antique to the most modern, used for the production process“

The Umami Area’s goal is to build in the community a proper training centre and Finca Rio Colorado will be the heart of it. The farm is already used by the technician of the cooperative COCAFCAL as training venue for the agronomists that will give support to the producers.
Umami Area is promoting the use of innovative agricultural practices respecting the environment, making easy the development of biodiversity eco-sustainability, and invest in experimental research so the project could be a model to study for the cooperative’s partners.
Also the local training school “Capucas Coffee Academy” is part of the project Finca Rio Colorado with the support of the Umami Area’s trainers to raise the standard level of knowledge and the know-how of the coffee producers and the young local people, offering training courses about coffee with the opportunity to get the module certification of the Coffee Diploma System of SCA. The academy also provides a library of technical books, freely available for any scientific research on coffee.

Panchito - photo by Matteo Mabilia

Francisco Villeda called "Panchito" is the capataz, the person in charge of the daily maintenance work that the farm needs, he is one of the founding members of the cooperative and also a producer with great experience in specialty coffee microlots.
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