Barista Magazine

DEC 2017-JAN 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 95 of 107

96 barista magazine one is easy,' words that remain faithful to me today." Healthy competition among producers might take a slightly different form than what we on the retail side are used to, but just as in the coffee shops and roasteries of specialty coffee, it can go great lengths to actually incentivize in addition to pushing quality develop- ment. "The major mentality for the producers located in our region is: Volume means more money. They don't really believe a few bags will give them a better price if they focus on quality…" says Melissa Agudelo Monsalve, commercial specialist for delosAndes Cooperativa, a growers' organization based in Medellín, Colombia. "However, once they see that the producer who is into the quality program is rebuild- ing their wet mill, or traveling to other cities for the fi nal event, they feel envy—which is normal in all humans. Then they start to ask how does it work, what do they have to do, how is the picking, what about the different varieties, etc." The cooperative's motto is Unidos es mejor, "united is better," which is one of the reasons the organization sponsors trips for pro- ducers, taking them to other growing regions so they can observe, ask questions, and learn from what others have experienced, for better or worse. The delosAndes producers also have opportunities to travel off the farm or mill to attend other industry events and skill-shares, such as "events like Cup of Excellence, ExpoEspeciales, and different na- tional expos just to get to know how the industry works, what are the new trends, to get the chance to talk with producers from other parts of Colombia… [Also] international events such as SCAA, SCAE, Café Show in Korea, Let's Talk Coffee," Melissa says. "This is crucial. As producers, we need to be able to adapt and produce what the market is asking." Like the Volcafe Way, delosAndes offers its members recommenda- tions, advice, and services to help them collectively improve their qual- ity and market leverage. "We have a team of 14 technical assistants who are responsible for workshops of quality, productivity, prevention L-28 and Geisha ha Va l l ab o rati o ns.

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