Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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119 www.baristamagazine.com The program included workshops, a roasting challenge, bonfi res, and a weekend full of networking. Since then, I've attended 15 of the 17 Roasters Guild Retreats to date. I truly have to say that the Guild is responsible for ev- erything I have accomplished in my coffee career, first be- cause of the philosophy of sharing, then all the networking it has brought me, also for allowing me to have access to what roasters are demanding and curious about. Overall, it has provided valuable information and connections. So a way to contribute and give back to the Guild has been for me to volunteer. I was actually first recruited to volunteer and teach by Chris Schooley back in 2009. He allowed me to present the El Manzano Project at Retreat, which showcased four identical coffees except for process- ing. Back then it was the first time for most roasters to taste side by side the same coffee fully washed, mechani- cally washed, natural, and honey processed. Then I started to volunteer to develop the content and teach some of the classes we were giving. In 2012, I was elected to be part of the executive council of the Guild and slowly began climbing up until I became chair in 2017. KRO: What are the biggest challenges facing coffee pro- duction in the future in your opinion? ELD: I personally think the biggest problem that the coffee-production side of the industry has is dependency on cheap labor. It needs to stop immediately. I'm truly committed to eradi- cating cheap labor at our farms and mills, and we are in the middle of that transition phase. Traditional coffee farming as we know it needs to go through a major surgery. It seems that the word mechanization scares a lot of people in the specialty-coffee world, and it's one of my main goals to show how that can be a way out of the dependency on labor-intensive farming processes. The word itself makes people think of mechanized harvesting with huge machines, but that's not only what I am referring to when I say mechanization at the farm level. Many of the agricultural practices like fertilizing, spraying, trimming, planting, and even picking can be done now with handy motorized tools that will make a worker be twice or even five times more productive. Productivity and efficiency along with quality is what we should be promoting, and it is what will get most producers out of poverty and encourage future generations to continue to farm coffee. With the C-market again low, at $1.14 per pound, there is no way a farm- er can survive without productivity and efficiency. They might have quality, but in this game, without volume, you ain't gonna cover your overhead costs, nor be able to pay for a good education [for] your family. Emilio had so much more to share with us than we could fit in the pages of Barista Magazine. Check out Barista Magazine Online in August to read more from our interview, including Emilio's experience with barista champions and the World Barista Cham- pionship, what he's learned from coffee farmers working outside of El Salvador, what he thinks the future holds for the newly unified Coffee Roasters Guild, and more. Emilio poses with his team from Cuatro M, which is located about 90 minutes by car from San Salvador. Cuatro M is a miller and exporter of 100% single-origin coff ee produced in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec region. Their fi rst washing station was installed at Finca Ayutepeque, where each bean is traceable back to the lot it is grown in.

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