Documento sin título
Peru's harvest is now in full swing, and the number of deliveries hitting our cupping tables in both the north and south has increased considerably in August. We are happy to see quality improvements from cooperatives we worked with last year, who have implemented raised-bed drying systems and focused on educating farmers on selective harvesting. While volumes have yet to hit the level of 2016, we continue to purchase coffees for shipment at the end of August, with further shipments slated for September and beyond.

During our farm visits, we have seen producers who are motivated to improve their quality through improved post-harvest practices. Some farmers are upgrading from wooden wet mills to concrete systems featuring flotation tanks and washing channels; others are beginning to experiment and calibrate their fermentation times with the support from PECA, to develop richer flavors in their coffees.

As producers in Nicaragua await the next crop, they are optimistic about the quality of this upcoming harvest. In contrast to recent years, rains continue to be very regular in Nicaragua, allowing producers to prepare their trees and farms. New faces are now coming to Caravela, looking for new opportunities and keen to learn more about us; an encouraging development, as our goal for the 2017-2018 harvest is to offer coffees from a wider portfolio of farms.

In the meantime, we're performing crop surveys to have a better picture of what to expect heading into next year. Thus far, we're projecting an earlier start to purchasing than usual, with first pickings expected to arrive in October. This means that for the second year in a row, we anticipate shipping our first container of the harvest in December!

With the settlement of our own team and offices based in Mexico, Caravela will now be able to access and impact the lives of a larger number of producers and communities there. For the next harvest, we will be offering coffees from multiple regions and profiles. For the last three years, Caravela has been sourcing coffee from two regions: Veracruz and Oaxaca. Now, we are planning to expand into other states, such as Puebla and Chiapas. We will evolve from having very limited access to farmers, towards developing direct relationships with them, and, most importantly, begin educating them on methods to improve their processes and quality. Our plan is to start on the right foot! We've been implementing PECA since the very beginning, to train and educate producers on farm management, sustainability, cup quality, productivity, and efficiency, encouraging them to use better practices and improving their quality of coffee and quality of life!

Our container from Beneficio San Vicente in Honduras is scheduled to land in Sydney on September 3rd. In this origin we are not only investing on producers that have produced high quality coffee for years, but also paying strong attention to ones with high potential and commitment to improve their coffee quality. In fact, this container includes lots from 12 growers who have produced quality coffee for the first time this year. With this initiative, Caravela can be a part of their journey and we can start developing new relationships with producers whom are motivated to improve their quality. We are very proud to see how these new producers are already producing AA-grade coffees. This motivates us to keep working and investing on them.

For the last month, PECA and our Country Manager visited farms in the regions where we are present in Guatemala, from the border with El Salvador and Honduras (Trifinio) to the region of Huehuetenango. During these visits, we witnessed the positive impact of PECA on coffee growers, who are using the knowledge and training from PECA to improve their farms. It was inspiring to see their trees in great condition, looking healthy and free of diseases. The farmers have also improved their shade management, as well as clearing their farms of undergrowth. We are also meeting with producers who have never worked with us, but are interested in our educational program. We are developing new long-term relationships, and the additional coffee profiles these will provide make us excited about the next harvest.

One of our PECA technicians from Nicaragua spent the last month in Galapagos, working hand-in-hand with the local cooperative COOPGALACAF and its members to improve some of their harvest and post-harvest processes. After visiting dozens of farms and studying the nutrient conditions of trees, phytosanitary management, nursery gardens and post-harvest infrastructure, our PECA technician came up with various conclusions and recommendations for the coffee growers. The results were shared with the cooperative, as well as with the producers and the Ministry of Agriculture. Caravela will continue to assist them with some of the main objectives, including improving tree nutrition by implementing soil analysis and using organic fertilizers easily available, the design and construction of raised drying beds at their beneficio in Baltra, airflow improvement in their parabolic covered patios, and better maintenance of their infrastructure. By focusing on these elements, we are confident that coffee from the upcoming harvest in the archipelago will taste great!

Our PECA program is now focusing on training the regions of Juayua, Ataco, and Morazan, as well as strengthening relationships with cooperatives so we can achieve the same goal together: the production of better, longer-lasting coffees. This month, we visited and explored these new horizons and confirmed that the regions have strong potential: farms are situated at good altitudes, and grow varieties proven to produce high quality coffee. We are excited to meet coffee growers motivated and interested in working with Caravela to improve their processes and plantations.

We received expressions of gratitude from the coffee growing members of the APECAP association in the southern region, following the training sessions they received at their farms regarding sound farm management and best agronomic processes for harvest and post-harvest. We managed to gather co76 ffee growers along with their families, from the province of Zamora Chinchipe. During the training sessions, we managed to visit eight farms, all between 1,400 and 1,700 m.a.s.l., with areas of between 2.5 and 6.0 hectares, and planted primarily with Caturra and Typica. This region has cultivated coffee for almost two centuries, and has managed to recover from plagues and diseases through the renovation of land and implementation of better practices. In Ecuador, as in all our origins, we are committed to the sharing of knowledge and experience with our supplier partners, to improve the quality of life of their families. It was inspiring to see 76 families full of hope and dedication.

For the first time since the spring of 2015, the prestigious Cup of Excellence is back in Colombia. ASECC (Asociacion Colombiana para la Excelencia del Café) is now the entity in charge of the competition, and Caravela is proud to be one of the founding companies of this new organization, with a mission to continue improving the quality of Colombian coffee from seed to cup. Producers all over the country are excited about being able to submit their best lots to Cup of Excellence, a more rigorous affair in its new incarnation, as submissions must now cup higher than 86 points to be considered beyond the initial stage of selection. So far, Caravela has received 58 potential lots from some of the top producers in Cauca, Huila, Nariño and Tolima. The pre-selection phase will take place next week, led by ACE head judge John Thompson, followed by the National Jury the week of September 18, and the International Jury the last week of September. We wish the best of luck to all producers that have submitted lots, and may the best producer win!