“In Coffee, Small Changes Make Significant Transformations”
On the lookout for stunning coffees, we are always partnering with people that share our values – sustainability, long-term relationships, and sharing knowledge. We welcomed on the 24th of September, Marjorie Canjura, field engineer and quality advisor of Belco, our coffee sourcing partner based in France. She talked about her work with coffee farmers that aims to improve the quality and yield of their plantations.
With a background in science, she started to work with coffee eight years ago. By then, she introduced in El Salvador honey and natural processing as alternative methods. Now, working with farmers from different countries, including Ethiopia and Kenya besides Central America, year by year she sees the results of their hard work with higher scoring points coffee. It is a win-win situation that makes her very proud. “Everything you do at the farm will be reflected in the cup,” she pointed.
At Belco, they combine technical support and sourcing to guarantee more consistency, more quality and to create long-term relationships. “This way we can be more transparent and know what is happening in the fields, what are the needs of the farmers.” Marjorie highlighted that they also organize workshops, which have a theoretical round combined with practical activities in the fields. In Ethiopia, they have already trained 600 people, “most of them small farmers,” she celebrates. Among them is Mohammed Ali, whose great coffee we featured here at THE BARN this year for the first time. Belco agronomists supported him suggesting changes in management and advising him to keep biodiversity that provides natural shade. As a result, his productivity is increasing as well as the quality. With better quality, producers are able to receive better payments for their coffees, have better living conditions and invest back in the farms to keep improving.
Working very close to the producers, Marjorie and Belco team are building a solid network, in which the coffee farmers are the major players. Marjorie is not only helping the farmers to solve problems but also to prevent them from happening. This means more efficiency, higher quality, and savings. “In coffee, small changes make significant transformations,” she concluded with a smile on her face.
After the talk, people could have a taste of the coffees Marjorie was talking about in a cupping round. Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Guatemalan coffees processed in different ways – washed, honey and natural — were put side by side. Their differences and strengths could be compared. Everyone was very excited to talk about their flavour experiences with each coffee. It is also part of the learning by doing, this time on the customer side. That closed the chain: from the farms to the final coffee consumer.