In February, the Asociación de Productores de Café Ecológico Regional Larecaja (APCERL) and the producers of the TCO Lecos de Apolo, exported to the United States a container of 18.27 tons of coffee, worth $us. 123,512, through the social enterprise Orygen-Chomateo SRL, with the support of WCS, in the framework of the project "Wildlife-friendly agroforestry and sustainable forest management in Bolivian indigenous territories", funded by the UK Government through the “Darwin Initiative”.
The exported coffee is the result of a constant process of perfection of its quality and aromatic and flavor qualities, which is enriched by the exchange of knowledge. For the second time, last November, the producers received a visit from Joseph Stazzone, CEO of Café Kreyol, to get to know the coffee plantations and the existing coffee varieties. Once back in Virginia, and after meticulous sampling and cupping, Stazzone decided to choose coffee from the northern Amazon region of La Paz as his main supplier of Bolivian coffee.
This is a good example of sustainable trade that involves the commitment of producers and buyers and the long-term institutional support of WCS, with a program based on sustainable coffee production, linked to biodiversity conservation actions and the promotion of responsible consumption.
The coffee of 40 producers in Teoponte is found under agroforestry systems (simple, complex and undergrowth). The coffee plantations contain arabica coffee varieties, such as catimor, caturra and catuai. The plots are located within an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Bella Vista BO 047, towards the south of Madidi National Park. They are home to 238 bird species (16 % of Bolivia's birds). Thirteen of these coffee plantations have been awarded the Smithsonian Institute's 'Bird Friendly' seal for their contribution to conservation. In general, the Teoponte varieties are particularly chocolatey, with malty tones and citric acidity. They are medium to full-bodied with a sweetness of honey and chancaca. The specialty coffees present flavors of red fruits (strawberry and plums) and yellow fruits (peach, apricot) with an intense body and a pronounced sweetness of chancaca.
Apolo's coffee plantations involve 40 families from the Lecos de Apolo Community Land of Origin (TCO). The Criollo and Catimor varieties are the predominant varieties. The coffee plantations are adjacent to or within the Madidi National Park, and hence the development of sustainable coffee growing is of great importance to conserve biodiversity values and contribute to the territorial management of the Leco de Apolo indigenous people. This type of coffee is characterized by a marked citric acidity (orange and mandarin), medium to full body, and pronounced chocolate flavors. Among the specialty coffees, that of the producer Sabina Calcina stands out because it gathers all the attributes that characterize a fine and delicate coffee.