So, where are the Red Associations?
Over the past year, the Red Associations have been developing across Colombia. The initial Red Associations was born from a meeting with producers in Pitalito, Huila, last May. Facing the effects of climate change on the drying of their harvests, producers had to utilise third parties, selling their parchment in wet form, to capture a small, but vital return for their work.
Seeing this self-identified issue as a moment to greatly improve the returns for producers, as well as their knowledge of the wider specialty market, the project was born. Together through Red Associations, we are building the required infrastructure to re-enable drying by producers, while also including steps traditionally downstream of producers: sample analysis, roasting, QC, and separation of lots by value based on quality. Paired with a fixed price payment system, these steps when combined result in the wider spread knowledge, and an average income per household through coffee increasing by 2.5 times.
Red El Carmen, has grown steadily over the past year, and is about to be furnished with a QC and cupping lab alongside the Association's drying facilities. You can read more about the development of El Carmen individually in this post.
This model, once seen to be successful was able to be replicated.
The Red Associations now covers four producer groups:
Red Villamaría, Caldas
Red Santuario, Risaralda
Red El Aguila, Valle del Cauca
Red El Carmen, Huila